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Bottas still refusing to give up on 2017 F1 title hopes

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Valtteri Bottas is not yet ready to abandon his bid for a maiden Formula 1 drivers’ title and throw his full weight behind Mercedes’ teammate Lewis Hamilton, saying his mindset remains unchanged heading into this weekend’s Malaysian Grand Prix.

Hamilton has spent much of the season embroiled in a close fight with Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel at the front of the pack, with his third straight win in Singapore catapulting him into a 28-point lead.

Bottas had been within striking distance of the leaders through the European summer races, but is now 51 points behind Hamilton, making his chances of a shock title win seem slim with six rounds to go.

While the Finn is prepared to shift his support to Hamilton when the time is right, he still does not believe he has reached that point yet.

“The first priority for the team is to win the constructors’ title,” Bottas told the official F1 website.

“There it looks good, even if it is not the done deal that people think it is. We still have to do a good job to achieve it.

“Goal number two for the team is to win the drivers’ championship. Lewis has clearly the upper hand compared to me so I understand that there could be situations where the team, and Lewis, needs help, and then I would accept it. That is the name of the game.

“I know the ambitions of the team, but it is not like I am going into this weekend thinking that I will go out on the track helping Lewis.

“I want to win – very clearly. I am still allowed to win races if I have the pace.”

Red Bull Air Race: Yoshi Muroya joins Sato as Japanese champs at Indy

Photo: Joerg Mitter/Red Bull Content Pool
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Takuma Sato isn’t the only major Japanese athlete to take home top honors at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway this year. Countryman Yoshihide Muroya joined him in that on Sunday after winning Red Bull Air Race at IMS, and the Red Bull Air Race World Championship in the process.

Fittingly, the 101st Indianapolis 500 champion was there on site to join him in the celebration.

Muroya flew with a track-record run in the final and erased the four-point deficit to points leader Martin Sonka. The record run came after a disappointing qualifying effort of 11th in the 14-pilot field in the Master Class.

A day after the win, Muroya joined Sato in heading to Sato’s new Verizon IndyCar Series team, Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing’s, Indianapolis-based shop.

A few social posts from Muroya’s victory and the subsequent celebration are below.

CHECKING OUT EACH OTHER’S RIDES

ASTLES BREAKS THOUGH AS WELL

Muroya wasn’t alone among big winners at the Speedway. In the Challenger Class, Melanie Astles of France became the first woman to win a major race at IMS, and is the first female winner in the Red Bull Air Race World Championship.

Nine women have competed in the Indianapolis 500 (Janet Guthrie, Lyn St. James, Sarah Fisher, Danica Patrick, Milka Duno, Simona de Silvestro, Pippa Mann, Ana Beatriz, Katherine Legge) and Mann is the first woman to have been on the pole position at IMS, having done so for the Freedom 100 in 2010 in Indy Lights.

Photo: Joerg Mitter/Red Bull Content Pool