Valtteri Bottas says he is prepared to “take one for the team” and aid Mercedes’ and Lewis Hamilton’s respective title challenges if such a situation arises.
Hamilton is locked in a close battle with Max Verstappen for the Drivers’ crown, with the Red Bull driver five points ahead, while Mercedes is 18 points clear in its pursuit of an eighth Constructors’ title.
Bottas is leaving Mercedes for Alfa Romeo at the end of the year but stressed that he will play his role accordingly if requested.
“We have discussed many things internally, including different scenarios because every race is always different,” he said.
“There could be times where we need to play as a team and I’ll need to take one for the team.
“The way the situation is, yes, I would do it, we’re here as a team and we need to make sure we win both titles, not only the Constructors’ but also the Drivers’.
“Lewis has a greater chance for that – so that’s the situation, now, at the moment.”
While Mercedes has rarely implemented direct team orders, one of its most prominent situations came at Sochi, the venue for this weekend’s Russian Grand Prix, in 2018.
Bottas pulled aside for Hamilton, then involved in a championship fight with Sebastian Vettel, with the Briton going on to lead a 1-2 for Mercedes.
“That’s a few years ago and at least now I can be fine with the thing, but at that point, yes, it was painful and, for me, it was hard to accept,” he said.
“But we’ve obviously moved on since and I’ve also grown a lot since and I see things a bit differently now.”