Mercedes boss Toto Wolff has challenged Valtteri Bottas to prove his race-winning credentials, dismissing the notion of Lewis Hamilton handing his teammate a victory before the 2018 campaign is over. Bottas was ordered aside to hand Hamilton a win in Russia earlier this year, but both drivers do not expect a reversal to follow in either Brazil or Abu Dhabi.
Hamilton's title victory was confirmed in Mexico last time out, likely bolstering Bottas' hopes of winning his first race of 2018 after several weeks of acting as his team-mate's wing man.
Bottas says he wants to break his duck off his own steam and Hamilton has said that he has no plans to move aside if a situation similar to Sochi arises.
The lack of friction between the drivers at Mercedes is a far cry from Hamilton's relationship with Nico Rosberg – emboldening Wolff to lay down the challenge to Bottas.
"Lewis is very much out there to win as many races as possible, and championships," Wolff told Sky Sports.
"And no driver wants to give up a race victory. I think Valtteri needs to get it himself and this is how it should pan out."
Wolff added: "This is Alice in Wonderland now compared to what we had before. They are yin and yang.
All the talking happens on the track. There is nothing in the debrief, there is no politics.
"And I'm not saying that in a negative way, every driver has his own way of trying to achieve success. But Valtteri is an absolutely cool Finn. I don't think that he even realises if something is being manipulated. So it's a great relationship between the two."