Lewis Hamilton may have won the Drivers' Championship, but he isn’t out of the spotlight just yet.
He has now sensationally claimed that he would allow Valtteri Bottas to win the Grand Prix this weekend, but only if Mercedes asked him.
With two races to go, and Hamilton already victorious, all eyes turn to the battle for second place between Bottas and Hamilton’s age old nemesis Sebastian Vettel.
"I don’t think they are going to ask. Valtteri wants to get it on merit,” he told the official F1 website.
“He has been working hard throughout the year and is focused more than ever, so I know he wants to do it on his own.
"But if the team asks me, then for sure!
“As I said before, my mentality for the last two races is to win – and I have not been told otherwise."
Hamilton’s words add more pressure to the battle for second, with Vettel knowing he has to be on top of his game to win, because there is always the threat the two Mercedes drivers will work together against him.
Vettel has been under pressure from the implication that his driving is sometimes too risky, which Hamilton levelled at him recently. Hamilton’s recent comments seem to be just another stage in the mind games between the two drivers.
“Nothing has changed,” Hamilton said, when asked if he would treat the rest of the season differently.
“There are still two races to go.
"It is the best time ever to apply even more pressure – just because I can. There are still two wins available."
Relishing the ability to pile the pressure onto his fellow drivers, Hamilton shows no sign of letting up as he posted the fastest lap in the first practice session during the Brazilian Grand Prix.
Bottas was second, a fact that will frighten Vettel if the two drivers continue their scintillating form.
“It’s up to him,” Bottas said when drawn on the comments. “As a team we really want to finish one and two.”
With qualifying up ahead, and the race on Sunday, all eyes are on Mercedes and whether they can secure a one-two in the Drivers' Championship.
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