Monza – Valtteri Bottas said on Friday he is willing to help Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton win the drivers’ title, but not, he hopes, at the expense of a personal race win.
The Finn, who is fourth in this year’s title race, but 87 points adrift of leader and defending champion Hamilton, said he understands the likely need to follow team orders.
“If the situation is clear that’s the best thing for the team to try – to win both titles – then I understand,” the 29-year-old said.
“Nobody wants to go to that position and be in that position as a driver, but if the situation is so that I can’t win the title, then of course I’m willing to help.”
He added that he has full trust in Mercedes and believes the team would not take a race victory from him.
“If I would have the pace to win the race and if, by pure speed, I am about to win, I am sure that the team will look at the situation,” he told Autosport.
“I don’t think in any case I would completely lose the freedom to win a race if I am able to do so. It just depends on the situation.
“I do trust the team. They have a lot of respect for me and good respect for both drivers. They wouldn’t do anything too harsh.”