Bottas doesn't want favor returned by Mercedes

Bottas doesn't want favor returned by Mercedes

Bottas, who had controlled the opening half of the race after retaining his lead from pole position, crossed the line in second ahead of Hamilton's championship rival Vettel. Hamilton ended up being brought in at the end of the 14th lap, which meant that Vettel got the jump on him.

Asked if he would return the favour, Hamilton said: "I would have no problem with that.' The defending champion has headed to Mercedes" Northamptonshire factory before travelling to Japan later on Tuesday. "Usually I'd be elated but I can understand how hard it was for Valtteri".

"But I can not even see him!?"

"Lewis was far back and we told him to switch position in Turn 13 and he did it immediately and this is what, within the team, you want to have".

The former champions showed impressive speed in Russian Federation, despite engine penalties dropping the cars to the back of the grid, with Verstappen climbing up from 19th to the race lead until a late pit stop saw him finish a creditable fifth.

Team orders are a part of the sport, they have been since the inaugural F1 season in 1950 and they will continue to be for many years to come.

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"Somebody needs to be the baddie sometimes and it's me this time", said Wolff.

"You need to weigh it up", he told the media post-race. What do I hope for? "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?" He would lose second place to Sebastian (Vettel) and that wouldn't be ideal for both of the championships, so I think that was the worry but I think in the end it proved that actually it wasn't that bad.

Hamilton will head into the concluding five rounds of the season with a 50-point lead over Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel following his win at the Sochi Autodrom.

In a race with little real drama, Max Verstappen celebrated his 21st birthday in style by steering his Red Bull from the back to the front, dropping back to fifth after finally pitting with 10 laps to go. It takes one DNF (non-finish) and then all of a sudden things look different. You never know what happens.

"So we need to stay on top of our game, which maybe we haven't been completely this weekend. We have to make sure that from where we are now, we focus on winning the last races".

Opportunities could still arise, he said. "It 's not entirely in our hands", he added. But we need to go a bit faster everywhere. Lewis Hamilton may have a 50-point cushion but this is motor racing and anything can happen, as we saw in Austria in July when he was forced to retire.

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