Vettel: Mercedes hyped-up Ferrari advantage

Bottas doesn't want favor returned by Mercedes

Terrible Russian track means sacrificing Valtteri Bottas was right decision

Valtteri Bottas has pledged to abide by team orders again if called upon by Mercedes to act as Lewis Hamilton's assistant.

In such a scenario, Hamilton said he would be willing to give Bottas a victory in return if he finds himself ahead of the Finn at one of the final two races and is able to let him past.

The switch of positions that deprived Valtteri Bottas of a deserved win left him glum-faced with Hamilton embarrassed at the means by which he was victorious. After speaking with team principal Toto Wolff about the team order, Bottas says he understands why his role is different while he isn't in title contention but doesn't want a win handed to him in return.

Hamilton, who will head into Sunday's Japanese Grand Prix holding a 50-point lead over Sebastian Vettel with just 125 remaining, appeared alongside Wolff at Mercedes' headquarters in Brackley on Monday.

Similar to Mercedes, Ferrari, despite a sizeable lead in the title race, felt the need to aid Schumacher's championship assault as they knew he was the only realistic chance of winning that year's world championship. Maximum points, extending its lead in both championships and a step closer to an historic fifth double. "He remains one of my favourite drivers, and I'm convinced that Ferrari is losing a very important driver".

This will leave three races for Bottas to potentially win, one of which is the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, which he dominated previous year.

"You need to be 1.4s faster than the vehicle in front of you - and when you're racing with someone you're not 1.4s faster than him - to overtake".

"We are all racers at heart and what we want to see is out and out racing and may the quickest man win", Wolff said.

"I don't know, we're a bit behind in pure speed, but in the race the auto feels OK".

"Right from Friday, the Sochi weekend was rather a hard one for us", said Arrivabene.

"It all panned out differently to what we expected and discussed", said Wolff. "In the end, for this year, if we look at the championship there's nothing I can really achieve that matters to me, so that's why I am looking forward to next year".

After 12 laps Bottas was the first of the leaders to pit for new tyres with Vettel following him in a lap later, and Hamilton stopping at the end of lap 14.

As speculation mounts over Ferrari's sudden loss of power being down to the FIA installing a second sensor on the Italian team's controversial second battery in its energy storage system, Sebastian Vettel has claimed that Mercedes hyped-up Ferrari's apparent superiority in previous races.

This put Hamilton in second place on the 25th lap of the race, and he remained there until, with 10 laps to go, Verstappen pitted for ultra soft tyres. And this is why he came in a lap too late and lost position.

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