Bottas willing to accept further team orders

Aubrey Yates
October 6, 2018

Although Suzuka is expected to again suit the Red Bulls, Mercedes have won the last four races in Japan, three courtesy of Hamilton, and will be favourites to extend that run.

The race in Sochi last Sunday was overshadowed by Mercedes ordering Valtteri Bottas to pull over and let teammate Hamilton pass to win.

"I just need to accept it now that I'm in this situation because of everything that has happened earlier in the season", he said.

He said any decision would be made on a "case-by-case basis". I was at the factory on Monday, and I am sure 50 percent of the guys at the factory have the same vibe, but generally the support was quite incredible.

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

Now Mercedes have got a two-race buffer for Lewis Hamilton not to finish and for Sebastian Vettel to win and they'll still be even-stevens, which wouldn't have been the case had there not been the call.

With five races to go, his fifth world championship is nearly in the bag.

Hamilton added he does not "arrive here [in Japan] thinking that Valtteri has to work for me" in his title bid.

"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 team happen".

'This is the most unusual sport in the sense that you have two championships. "So unlike people watching football or any other sport, where everyone works towards that one goal, there's two goals here". The primary aim for a team is to get the best possible result for both championships and that's what they did. "Hopefully this week we are a bit closer". I will do it again.

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'I feel one way about it and on the other side I feel another way about it.

"I don't think we have been in the same position as they have, probably, during the race, so I think it is more a question for the team and not for me". That's how it is.

'It's been something I've thought about, but I don't think you get your mind around it. The team might not want to sacrifice my race as well.

Vettel is still hoping he can revive his title campaign.

"Suzuka will be another challenging weekend for us", declared Mercedes F1 boss Toto Wolff, whose team are 53 points clear of Ferrari in the constructors' standings.

"We know one DNF or mistake [for Hamilton] and it could disappear quickly".

"I am definitely split just like 50 percent of the people". The track is different, the circumstances are different.

"I love this track, it's my favorite track in the world, so I'd better enjoy it and not spoil it by starting to count the things that are against me and focus on the things that are working for me".

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