And the 32-year-old is eager to turn the screw in the title fight ahead of the next race in Monaco on May 27.
He won a fortnight ago in Baku and seized the championship lead for the first time all year.
"Honestly I think Monaco is going to be hard for us", he said after Sunday's race.
Valtteri Bottas believes his performances so far in 2018 have "more or less" met the targets he set himself prior to his second year with Mercedes.
"We were assessing our options against Vettel once we saw that we didn't have the pace to pass but when he stopped on the VSC, the best strategy was to run the to end and Valtteri did an awesome job of managing the tyres over 47 laps, the longest stint anyone made during the race". Bottas feared he wouldn't be able to do anything about the situation and was resigned to finishing in third. "I only said that we are loyal first of all to our drivers".
"Obviously it looked like from the outside they [Mercedes] had a stronger weekend, without any big issues, but we need to look at ourselves, focus on our auto and our problems, so we'll be stronger again".
"Finalising a contract is something that you need to involve yourself in and spend time, and we both decided we'd park it for a minute where we were".
"I think it's pretty straightforward", he said. "But I wasn't", he said. We could just as easily go to the next race and struggle getting our tyres working and be nowhere. "Race by race we're understanding the tyres more, which is a bit battle for everyone". "Really reactive decision from the team".
Bottas posted a 1m16.904s to lead the way on the supersoft compound tire, a lap time that would have been good enough for seventh on the grid in Sunday's Spanish Grand Prix on the same tire.
However, he has changed his stance and confirmed that despite the team possessing good drivers in Valtteri Bottas - Hamilton's current teammate - and good young drivers in Esteban Ocon and George Russell, they are looking at Ricciardo as a potential candidate. "This weekend, definitely we got ourselves onto the right path and I think the team just did an exceptional job, managing all aspects and improving in all areas".
"As I said it was good in terms of timing, coming from a poor weekend for us, we were not quick enough and more than not being quick enough we were struggling to make the tyres last - these things have a link - so it was good to have a possibility to revisit it and now it's up to us to take action".