Although Valtteri Bottas says he’s still allowed to race Lewis Hamilton, he acknowledges that if his team-mate needs his help, he “would accept it.”
Winning all three grands prix since F1 returned from the summer break, Hamilton is leading the Drivers’ Championship by 28 points over Sebastian Vettel.
Bottas trails his team-mate by a further 23 points, which means he is not out of the race.
This has led to speculation over whether or not Mercedes are ready to throw all their efforts behind Hamilton.
Bottas, though, says for now he’s still allowed to race – and beat – his team-mate.
“Well, the first priority for the team is to win the Constructors’ title,” he told the official F1 website.
“There it looks good – even if it is not the done deal that people think it is. We still have to do a good job to achieve it.
“Goal number two for the team is to win the Drivers’ championship.
“Lewis has clearly the upper hand compared to me so I understand that there could be situations where the team – Lewis – needs help, and then I would accept it.
“That is the name of the game.
“I know the ambitions of the team – but it is not like I am going into this weekend thinking that I will go out on the track helping Lewis.
“I want to win – very clearly. I am still allowed to win races if I have the pace.”
The Finn, though, isn’t ready to give up on his own chances of success just yet.
“I know the plain facts and that means we still have six races to go and proper points still in the pot, so I will not give up on the title unless all theoretical chances are over,” he added.
“So let’s see what happens!”