Despite arriving as a new signing to Mercedes AMG early in 2017, Valtteri Bottas has affirmed the team has given him equal status with his triple World Champion team mate Lewis Hamilton.
During Thursday’s press conference, Bottas told Sky Sports reporter Simon Lazenby, “This team never really has had number one or number two drivers and is not planning to.”
During the previous race in Bahrain, Bottas was asked by Mercedes to let Hamilton through; an order he followed with no question.
Eventually, Hamilton finished the Grand Prix in P2 with Bottas 13+ seconds behind in P3.
“If for any reason, like for me in Bahrain,” Bottas continued, “the pace of the other car is not good then the team needs to think and be clever and not to lose any points.”
Bottas’ pace suffered during the Bahrain Grand Prix due to an issue with his tire pressures.
Because of this, Hamilton’s lead over Bottas in the World Drivers Championship now sits at 23 points after three races.
In terms of this weekend’s Russian Grand Prix, Bottas admitted, “I am not thinking about anything like [team positions] and I’m sure also for the team there’s no need to.”