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2018 F1

Team orders could end Bottas win hopes

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Valtteri Bottas could be asked to give up the race win at Sochi to help championship leader Lewis Hamilton tighten his grip on the 2018 title.

Finn Bottas is on pole in Russia, but with Sebastian Vettel behind them both in the fast Ferrari, Mercedes team tactics are arguably wise.

“If you start from pole, you want to win the race,” Bottas said after qualifying.

“But of course we are here as a team to fight for both titles,” he is quoted by Bild.

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff regretfully admitted that team orders must be a consideration.

“It would be rather difficult to tell him after putting the thing on pole and he cannot race. But we are not in the phase of the season where as Mercedes we can simply drive against each other.

“As much as I hate that as a racing fan, we have to be realistic,” Wolff added.

“We will have the meeting before the race and then see how it develops in the race,” he said. “Lewis doesn’t want it because he wants to do it for himself, and Valtteri doesn’t want it because he needs this victory.

“We will discuss it and come to a solution,” said Wolff.

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