Bottas: Too early for team orders at Mercedes

Valtteri Bottas thinks it too early for Mercedes to throw all its efforts behind Lewis Hamilton in the championship fight, despite him losing ground to his main rivals in the Belgian Grand Prix.

Bottas: Too early for team orders at Mercedes
Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes AMG F1 W08
Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes AMG F1 W08, Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari SF70H
Race winner Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes AMG F1, celebrate with the Mercedes team
The Safety Car leads Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes AMG F1 W08, Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari SF70H, Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes AMG F1 W08
Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes AMG F1 W08

The Finn had a difficult weekend in Belgium, struggling with his set-up all weekend, and losing a podium spot after being swallowed up by Daniel Ricciardo and Kimi Raikkonen at the safety car restart.

Having fallen to 41 points behind leader Sebastian Vettel, and 34 points behind teammate Lewis Hamilton, the likelihood is that Mercedes will change it approach to the championship fight.

That would mean doing everything it can to ensure that Hamilton's position is maximised and that points are not lost against Vettel.

But despite Mercedes admitting things may change soon, Bottas still thinks it is too early to rule him out – as he insists his title hopes remain very much in his control.

"If I perform well, if I manage to get the pole position and escape then it's in my hands as well," he said. "There's still eight races to go, that's a big amount of points.

"The guys in front of me haven't really had any DNFs so maybe, hopefully not for us, but maybe it can happen."

Bottas does not believe that now is the right moment to make him a number two to Hamilton, even though he knows he cannot afford to fall any further back.

"I don't think it that way, I don't let those negative things come to my mind," he said.

"For sure at some point I understand if the team wants to really go for the championship, really make sure that at least one of the guys wins it.

"But it's a bit early. We need to go race by race, and every race you have different situations."

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