Wolff: Bottas a ‘tremendous team player’

Wolff: Bottas a ‘tremendous team player’

Wolff: Bottas a ‘tremendous team player’

Who knows what will happen in the next races.

A smiling Putin took the joke well, congratulating the reigning F1 champion and saying: "I'm accustomed to awarding you something each year, year after year... you're doing well".

World champion Hamilton gained 10 points on Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel, who was third in Russian Federation, to extend his advantage to 50 points, with five races to go of the 2018 campaign.

Vettel finished third for Ferrari to lose further ground on Hamilton with just five rounds and 125 points of this year's championship remaining. 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.

Meanwhile, Vettel's hopes of a dramatic turnaround look increasingly forlorn after finishing third behind the two Mercedes in Russian Federation.

"We are a team, and the team want to win both the drivers' and constructors' championships, so that is why the bosses took the decision".

"I had to do this to make sure we secured this", he said, having explained that Hamilton had a blistered tyre.

Mercedes at the time said it was because Hamilton's one tyre had a "small blister" that could leave him vulnerable to an attack from Vettel.

Hamilton's win lifted him to 306 points in the championship ahead of Vettel on 256, Bottas on 189 and Raikkonen on 186. "Do I want to be the baddie on Sunday evening for numerous right reasons or the idiot in Abu Dhabi at the end of the season?

It's a shame. I haven't won a race this season and obviously (Sunday) was a possibility but like I said, I think for me the main thing is to remind how the performance was this weekend". "He remains one of my favourite drivers, and I'm convinced that Ferrari is losing a very important driver".

The BBC reports that Hamilton's teammate Valtteri Bottas was told by Mercedes "to let him by at half distance to protect against rival Sebastian Vettel".

"I have no problems with that", Hamilton said.

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

When asked if he had been promised compensation in the future, the Finn added: "I don't expect anything back from the team".

Bottas was instructed to move aside for team-mate Hamilton who won in Sochi to take the title race out of Vettel's hands.

"We have a strong package going into the weekend and should be quite competitive there, so I hope that we will be able to see some good results and score more points." .

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