Lewis Hamilton: Valtteri Bottas fires F1 title warning to Mercedes team-mate

Bottas, after seeing his faint title hopes fade away by the halfway point this season, did all in his power to help Hamilton win his fifth world title.

Mercedes were extremely tactical as they secured the double ahead of Ferrari.

The most controversial point came when Silver Arrows boss Toto Wolff told Bottas to let Hamilton past when the Finn was leading the Russian Grand Prix.

Bottas followed team instructions for the rest of the campaign which significantly aided his team-mate.

Ferrari chief Maurizio Arrivabene labelled Bottas a “butler” for helping to serve up the Drivers’ Championship to Hamilton.

But Bottas insists he has belief that he can challenge his team-mate for the top prize next year.

“In this sport, when you’re kind of sometimes thinking of yourself, you’re thinking all kind of different things,” he said.

“The main thing is always the thought that I’ve got to be the strongest, and I’ve never told myself that I’m not good enough to do this.

“So… and I still believe [I can win the title], even though I feel disappointed for the season.

“I know that I can do much more than what this season proves, and that is the main thing.

“I think the fact is, as a team, what we’ve analysed and what we spoke with the guys, qualifying pace and race pace, compared to my team-mate, has been better this year on average, which is positive, but the results haven’t.

“So all those things, we need to analyse why the results weren’t there.

“Sometimes it was unlucky, sometimes were different reasons. But… yeah, I think performance-wise this year was better, but results-wise last year was better.”

Bottas’ contract expires in 12 months and with Mercedes youngster Esteban Ocon without a seat the Finn knows he could be fighting for his future.

“This sport is funny, you never know what happens in the future,” he added. “But I think the right mentality for me to approach next year is like I have nothing to lose.

“I just want to go for it and drive like I stole it, like it’s my last race, last day ever.

“So, yeah, I think that’s it. That’s a good plan.”