Bottas prepared for more team orders

Valtteri Bottas has been informed by Mercedes that he may be told to move aside for Lewis Hamilton again this season.

Mercedes team-mates Valtteri Bottas and Lewis Hamilton   -  Getty Images

Valtteri Bottas said he will still be allowed to win this season but is prepared to obey team orders again to help Lewis Hamilton's quest to retain his Formula One title.

Hamilton claimed his third successive victory at the Russian Grand Prix last Sunday after Bottas was told to let the championship leader through with title rival Sebastian Vettel on his trail.

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff described a one-two finish for the Silver Arrows in Sochi as "bittersweet", with Bottas evidently disgruntled at missing out on taking the top spot on the podium.

READ | Vettel rules out 'now or never' approach at Suzuka

Bottas stated ahead of this weekend's Japanese Grand Prix that he could yet add to his tally of wins, but is prepared to move aside again if he is instructed to.

"I'm definitively still allowed to win but it will all depend on the situation," said the Finn.

"Honestly, I think that, last weekend, if Lewis didn't have the [tyre] blister, if he didn't have that much pressure from Sebastian, maybe the team would have not done it. So, it will really be case by case."

"It can definitively happen again but it will depend in the situation. The team told me that and that was also what I expected."

Bottas reiterated that he fully understands why he was told to relinquish his position.

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"I think from our point of view we cannot see the point of hiding it," he added.

"This team, also because of its mentality, has been winning so much in the past and has very clear targets and how to achieve them. The team also wants to do everything it can to win those titles and that's also why this team is so good."

"It's not just in this kind of thing; we do the best we can do in every kind of thing and team orders like this is the name of the game. I just need to accept it now that I'm in this situation because of everything that has happened earlier in the season. I cannot fight for the championship anymore, Lewis is, I'm a team player and I'm willing to help."

"I don't like anything more than winning races and fighting for the championship – that's what I want to do. And that will still be my ultimate goal for every weekend and I'm hoping that will still happen. But I'm a team player as well and that's what we do. We're a strong team, we want to win both world championships and we work together, as a team, to do that."


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