Valtteri Bottas said he’d be willing to move over and let his team-mate pass if need be
LEWIS HAMILTON has received a massive boost in his F1 title fight with Sebastian Vettel after learning that team-mate Valtteri Bottas WILL obey team orders.
Hamilton’s Mercedes team-mate pulled over and allowed him to pass in the Bahrain GP after being ordered to by team boss Toto Wolff.
Until then, Merc had resisted the temptation to act as puppeteers for their drivers but with Ferrari now a threat to their titles, the Brackley team could employ the controversial tactic.
Hamilton said: “Our approach is, the team need to win. So we have to try to work as a team but only in special circumstances.
“We have to make sure we maximise the points for the team through the weekend, and our notes in our job description is to win for the team not for yourself.
“If you can’t win, it is not the case of not wanting the other car to win. You want the team to win and succeed.
“Mercedes, we want to finish ahead of Ferrari this year and to do that we have work as a team more than ever before.”
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Bottas was left down-beat after receiving the order and says he has not had discussions with Wolff over playing second fiddle to Hamilton.
However, the Finnish driver, who signed only a one-year deal following Nico Rosberg’s shock retirement, said he would be prepared to do the same again if the team ask him to, even if it allowed Hamilton to benefit.
He added: “If I have some issues in this race for whatever reason, or we are in different strategy, or Lewis is stuck behind me and the team tells me to move over I will.
“Of course as a driver I am going to do everything I can not to be in that position. I want to have my own race, and own personal results.
“But I have always been a team player and in the long term that is going to reward you.
“This year the team needs to be more clever and more careful in terms of how we collect every single possible point and I completely understand that.”
Meanwhile, Russian driver Daniil Kvyat has shown off a special helmet for his home GP featuring a cartoon of him riding a torpedo.
The image is a jibe towards Sebastian Vettel, who complained that the Russian came at him “like a torpedo” at the same race in 2016.