Valtteri Bottas prepared to accept more team orders in the future

Formula One World Championship

Formula One World Championship

Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff said he was "happy to be the baddie" in order to strengthen Hamilton's grip on the world championship. "I can not fight for the championship anymore, Lewis is fighting for it, I'm a team player and I'm willing to help. Of course you would like to be always further with more performance, but that's the same for everyone".

His Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas confirmed he would support Hamilton again should it be required.

"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".

"We have a strong auto but I don't think, against people's opinions, that we had a dominant vehicle at any point this year", Vettel said.

Sebastian Vettel believes there is no sense for him to approach this weekend's Japanese Grand Prix as "now or never" given his points deficit in the world championship. With the risk of sounding like a broken record, he has made far too many mistakes this season, five at the last count, compared to just one from Hamilton, in qualifying last weekend. How, with 125 points still to play for, has this happened to the German driver and his team which have had a superior vehicle for most of the season? "I can not fight for the championship anymore, Lewis is, I'm a team player and I'm willing to help", he added.

Like in 2017, the Mexican Grand Prix - a week after the U.S. GP - looks more likely to be where Hamilton will win the title. "When it is time, and I am allowed to win, I will do it. I didn't know it was five out of six", he added, referring to Hamilton's run of victories.

Hamilton has established a strong lead, winning five of the past six races but many have been against the head with Ferrari having the stronger auto.

At Sochi, Vettel had successfully undercut Hamilton during the pitstop rotation but the German driver was hounded by the Mercedes driver immediately after rejoining the race.

"The team also wants to do everything it can to win those titles and that's also why this team is so good". So unlike in football or other sports, everyone works towards one goal, there are two goals here and you are conflicted trying to achieve those two goals because only one driver can win and yet there are two drivers, and there is a team championship you want to win. Honestly I think last weekend, if Lewis didn't have the (tyre) blister, if he didn't have that much pressure from Sebastian, the team would have not done it.

"We haven't lost direction".

"We have made progress - the steps that were planned were the steps that came". You never know where you are in comparison to the others, but I'm pretty sure by speaking to all our engineers that we are where we wanted to be.

"Like everyone, you naturally felt bad for Rubens because he did a great job and deserved the win".

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