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2018 F1

Bottas happy to keep playing team role

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Valtteri Bottas says he is happy to help Lewis Hamilton win the 2018 world championship.

It has been a different story recently at Ferrari, where championship contender Sebastian Vettel’s teammate Kimi Raikkonen is leaving and apparently reluctant to play a supportive role.

But Finn Bottas, who is championship leader Hamilton’s Mercedes teammate, said in Singapore: “I understand that Lewis is fighting for the title while my chances are very small.

“So if I can help him do it, I will.”

Bottas’ ‘team supportive’ driving at Monza enraged some of Ferrari’s fans, with team boss Maurizio Arrivabene even describing him as a “butler” rather than a driver.

The Italian apologised for the remarks.

But Bottas said: “Everyone is free to express their thoughts. I was amused by some of them.

“What really matters to me is how I perform and how the team is working. Both drivers work for the team and although the team doesn’t want to spoil my race, I want to help where I can.

“For example at Monza I drove a longer first stint, but at the end of the race I was able to attack on fresh tyres and eventually went on the podium. The team wants us both to succeed,” he added.

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