Lewis Hamilton says should the need arise in “special circumstances”, Mercedes will use team orders as they did in Bahrain.
Although Valtteri Bottas started the Bahrain GP from pole position, the Finn was struggling for pace and fell behind Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel.
With Hamilton showing better speed, Mercedes asked Bottas to move over for his team-mate. In fact the team twice asked him to yield a position to the Brit.
Despite Mercedes’ efforts, Ferrari still won the grand prix and Hamilton says they will use team orders again if required.
“Our approach is, the team need to win so we have to try to work as a team but only in special circumstances,” the triple World Champion told reporters at the Sochi circuit.
“Of course, we’ve got to make sure we maximise the points for the team through a weekend.
“In our notes and our job description is to win for the team, not win for yourself.
“So whilst individually we want to win the race, if you can’t win it’s not the case of not wanting the other car to win, you want the team to win and succeed.
“As Mercedes, we want to finish ahead of Ferrari this year and to do that we have work as a team more than ever before.”
Asked whether he would have moved over for Bottas has the circumstances been reversed, he insisted he would have given the Finn’s struggles.
“I would have reacted the same way as him,” Hamilton said.
“He was struggling – he has admitted he was struggling with his rear tyres and when I passed I said to the team: ‘If I don’t pull away I’ll let him back past.’ But I did.
“So I could see Sebastian pulling away and I was like: ‘We have to together pick up the pace.’
“At the time Valtteri was struggling with the car balance so it made no sense for us both to fall behind and just let them pull away.
“So in that scenario we worked as a team and while it was very tough for him he was great gentleman about it and did the team proud.”