Date published: October 5 2018
Valtteri Bottas says he’d “accept it” if Mercedes again used team orders at this weekend’s Japanese GP as he’s no longer in the championship fight.
Last time out at the Sochi circuit, Bottas was gutted when Mercedes asked him to move over for team-mate Lewis Hamilton.
The team said at the time that a blister on Hamilton’s tyre could leave him vulnerable to an attack from title rival Sebastian Vettel and they wanted Bottas between the two cars.
He made the swap, which effectively became the race winning move for Hamilton putting the Brit 50 points ahead of Vettel in the standings.
Bottas was visibly unhappy but days later says he’d accept the same call if that’s the way Mercedes need to play it.
“I’m definitely still allowed to win but it will all depend on the situation,” the Finn said ahead of the Japanese GP.
“Honestly, I think that, last weekend, if Lewis didn’t have the 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.
“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 fighting for it, 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.”