Valtteri Bottas is prepared to follow team orders from Mercedes to help Lewis Hamilton maximise his score in this weekend’s Russian Grand Prix.
“At this situation, how the situation is, yes, I would do it, because we’re here as a team and really need to make sure that we win both titles. Not only the constructors’, but also drivers and at the moment Lewis has the greater chance for that, so that’s the situation now at the moment.”
Hamilton and points leader Max Verstappen’s collision in the last race at Monza allowed Bottas to close on them in the standings. Although Bottas remains mathematically in contention, he has accepted Hamilton is Mercedes’ priority in the championship fight.
“I think in Formula 1 you never know how the season will progress but still there’s a fair amount of races so never say never,” said Bottas. “The only thing I will keep doing anyway is try my best and try to win races.”
Bottas, who will leave Mercedes to join Alfa Romeo at the end of the year, admitted there is a “reasonable gap” between him and his team mate in the standings. The two are separated by 80.5 points in the standings, with Verstappen a further five points ahead.
“Earlier on in the season I felt like I wasn’t really any more allowed for the contention but you never know,” said Bottas. “We go race by race.
“But for me personally coming here for this race the only thing in my mind is winning. That’s all that matters for me and at least that’s my approach for the season.”
In 2018 Bottas let Hamilton by to win the Russian Grand Prix to aid his pursuit of the championship.
“That’s a few years ago, but at least now I can be fine with things,” he admitted. “At that point, yes, it was painful. And for me, it was hard to accept. But we’ve obviously moved on since, and also I’ve grown a lot since. Things are a bit different now.”
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2021 Russian Grand Prix
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