SUZUKA, JAPAN - Valtteri Bottas will not make life easy for Mercedes team mate Lewis Hamilton even though the Briton is now within touching distance of a sixth Formula One world championship.
The Finn roared to victory in Sunday's Japanese Grand Prix to narrow the gap to Hamilton, who finished third and set the fastest lap, to 64 points.
The 30-year-old Bottas is now the only driver who can still overhaul Hamilton, with a maximum of 104 points remaining to be won from the final four races, but his hopes are more mathematical than realistic.
Hamilton need not win again to clinch the title and would still be leading even if he fails to score for two races and Bottas takes maximum points. The Briton could take the title as early as the next round in Mexico on October 27.
With Mercedes having wrapped up a record-equalling sixth straight constructors’ crown on Sunday, and sure of an unprecedented title double for the sixth year in a row, the Finn can pull out all the stops.