Bottas not ready to sacrifice his own title ambitions for Hamilton just yet

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Valtteri Bottas insists it is too soon to give up on his own title ambitions to back Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton's push for the drivers' championship.

Bottas has performed well in his first season with the Silver Arrows and sits 41 points adrift of current leader Sebastian Vettel and 34 short of Hamilton in the standings.

However, with Vettel seemingly holding sway over Kimi Raikkonen at Ferrari, Mercedes' decision to treat both of their own drivers equally has come under pressure.

But Bottas is determined to continue fighting his own campaign until hopes of a maiden title have faded.

"It always goes race by race and depending on the situation. But the gap between me and Lewis in points is not massive," Bottas is quoted as saying by Sky Sports.

"There are still eight races left which means there are still 200 points possible to get.

"As a driver, I think we still need to go a little bit further into the season. It is theoretically still in my hands. If l qualify well and l race well then everything is okay.

"But if for some reason l am behind then later in the season l would be ready to help if the team decides. But l don't want to think about it at this point. I just need to perform."

Hamilton insists he has not discussed the matter with the team, but Mercedes boss Toto Wolff commented: "It's something we have given a lot of thought over the last couple of weeks. 

"The answer is, we would like to keep our options open because every race you cannot plan for all scenarios. It always comes differently to how you expect and, at Ferrari, Sebastian is very much in front point-wise, so it is clear Kimi is going to back him.

"It has not been part of our philosophy the last couple of years but we will be looking at each situation during the race and what it means for the drivers' championship and the constructors' championship."