Valtteri Bottas says he’ll “take one for the team” in Sochi and follow team orders if he is called upon by Mercedes to help teammate Lewis Hamilton’s title bid.
Ahead of this weekend’s round of racing in Russia, Red Bull’s Max Verstappen currently leads Hamilton in the Drivers’ standings by just 5 points, with Bottas over 85 points behind.
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In the Constructors’ championship, Mercedes retains an 18-point edge over Red Bull.
Bottas concedes that his titles chances are now remote given the gap in the standings to the leaders. The Finn would therefore lend a helping hand to Hamilton should he be required to do so by his team.
“We have discussed many things internally, including different scenarios,” said Bottas, who will depart Mercedes at the end of the season and move to Alfa Romeo.
“Every race is always different. There could be times that we need to play as a team, and I need to take one for the team.
“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.
“At the moment, Lewis has the greater chance for that, so that’s the situation now at the moment.”
Read also: Hamilton hints at ‘intense’ first title fight weighing on Verstappen
Coincidently, Sochi in 2018 saw Mercedes resort to team orders to help Hamilton’s cause, with Bottas asked to relinquish his lead to the Briton, much to the Finn’s chagrin at the time.
“That’s a few years ago, but at least now I can be fine with things,” Bottas said.
“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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