Lewis Hamilton surprised Ferrari has not used Formula 1 team orders

Formula One World Championship

He said any decision would be made on a "case-by-case basis". "Last weekend, if Lewis did not have the blisters on his tyres, maybe I would have been allowed to win".

Defending champion Lewis Hamilton has won three races in a row to open up a 50-point lead over Vettel with just five rounds of the 2018 season remaining.

"For sure in the statistics I don't have a win", he admitted, "but I know myself how I performed during the weekend and I feel like a victor from that race and that is what matters to me".

Sebastian Vettel insists Ferrari is happy with the improvements it has made with its vehicle during the season despite slipping behind Mercedes in recent races.

With five races to go, his fifth world championship is nearly in the bag.

The Finn insists that though it was teammate Hamilton who ultimately stood on the top step in Sochi, he still felt like he'd won the race.

"It's a team sport".

Hamilton added he does not "arrive here [in Japan] thinking that Valtteri has to work for me" in his title bid.

"I like nothing more than winning races and fighting for the championship and that's what I want to do".

"This is the most unusual sport in the sense that you have the drivers' and constructors' championships". So unlike in football or other sports, everyone works towards one goal, there are two goals here and you are conflicted trying to achieve those two goals because only one driver can win and yet there are two drivers, and there is a team championship you want to win.

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'I am a team player and I am willing to help.

"The battle with Ferrari remains extremely close, as was underlined by Sebastian's pace on Sunday and the pressure he put us under", Wolff said. I would do it again.

"I was really surprised that when I pulled out of it I managed to keep the auto in one piece and we made it to the second corner and it actually ended up being awesome racing".

"I just need to accept it now that I'm in this situation because of everything that has happened earlier in the season", he admitted.

"I can't fight anymore for the championship". That's how it is.

"It's artificial. Now we are in Japan, I think Mario Kart, if you remember - it might be more fun to throw bananas out of the cockpit". The team might not want to sacrifice my race as well. Having got himself into a winning position, and, despite the prior agreement, Rubens was reluctant to let Michael by and when the final switch happened in view of the finish line it created negativity both within the team and for those watching at the track and on television.

Vettel is still hoping he can revive his title campaign. You attack every weekend - every weekend is different, the track is different, the circumstances are different.

"We know one DNF or mistake [for Hamilton] and it could disappear quickly".

"You have to accept it and move forwards, and I am definitely split, just like all the people have split opinions about it". How I understand it is he has to do the best job he can and I've got to win. "I'll not focus on the things that are against me".

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