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  1. ITV Report

Hamilton prepared to repay winning favour to Bottas

Lewis Hamilton has told Valtteri Bottas that he will return the winning favour when he has secured his fifth world championship. Credit: PA

Lewis Hamilton has told Valtteri Bottas that he will return the winning favour when he has secured his fifth world championship.

Hamilton will take part in the Japanese Grand Prix on Sunday, the first of five remaining races, with a 50-point lead over Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel after Mercedes used team orders in Russia.

Bottas was instructed to move aside for team-mate Hamilton who won in Sochi to take the title race out of Vettel's hands. Indeed, Hamilton can now afford to finish second at all of the concluding rounds and still be crowned champion.

Asked if he would return the compliment to Bottas if, as is now expected, he wraps up the title with races to spare, Hamilton said: "I'd have no problems with that.

"Last season, Valtteri won quite a few races, and he has the possibility of winning more by himself."

Bottas was instructed to move aside for team-mate Hamilton who won in Sochi to take the title race out of Vettel's hands. Credit: PA

Bottas, who signed a one-year extension in July to stay with Mercedes next season, added: "I am prepared to play for the team. I took one for the team today, I will take one for the team tomorrow.

"That's how it goes, but I am also looking forward to next year and starting a new season."