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Valtteri Bottas believes he can still be a Formula One victor this season, even if circumstances mean he has to move over again to help Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton in the championship battle.

Hamilton's victory gave him a 50-point advantage in the championship, with a maximum of 125 points still available over the remaining five races, starting in Japan this weekend.

"If it goes well, we will know that, despite the hard situation in terms of the classification, we still have the right tools with which to fight all the way to the very end", the Italian said.

"The team also wants to do everything it can to win those titles and that's also why this team is so good. There were other races in the season where we didn't have the pace that they had".

"So they have worked as a team in certain parts of the year but in crucial points like Monza, they haven't". And is that a surprise?

"Now, you never know where you are in comparison with the others, maybe they have done smaller steps or bigger steps, I don't know. But it is not my problem".

Hamilton, who has always been adamant he has never wanted to win through team orders, admitted he did not feel comfortable with their use.

"I think the highlights that you mentioned or the races that (have been) mentioned, in qualifying we were not ahead". "I don't think you get your mind around it, [but] you just have to accept it and move forwards".

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"I feel like a victor".

"But it's happened, it's done and dusted".

"Collectively as a team, we've stayed quite united through the whole experience".

Hamilton eventually got the upper hand over Vettel despite a defensive maneuver by the Ferrari driver at Turn 2 that almost led to a collision between the two drivers, at least in Hamilton's view.

"It could definitely happen again", Bottas, 117 points adrift of Hamilton, said. I can't fight any more for the world championship and we need to play as a team if we really want to win the title.

"Lewis is hungry, focused and completely determined to succeed", Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff said.

"You're conflicted in trying to achieve those two goals because there's only one driver that can win, yet there's two drivers and you have a team championship that you want to win". The primary aim for a team is to get the best possible result for both championships and that's what they did. When asked if it would take the shine off winning his fifth title, Hamilton was unequivocal. "There have been times where, for example, Valtteri has not been in the top five and there's been a Ferrari, me and a Ferrari, and the Ferraris work together".

"We have a strong auto but I don't think, against people's opinions, that we had a dominant vehicle at any point this year", Vettel said.


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