Lewis Hamilton says all parties in the Mercedes team orders controversy must ‘accept it and move forwards’ ahead of the Japanese Grand Prix as he feels the conflict will always remain in Formula 1.

Following his victory at the Russian Grand Prix, helped by Mercedes team orders allowing him to pass leader and teammate Valtteri Bottas, Hamilton holds a 50-point lead in the F1 world drivers’ championship over Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel with five races remaining.

But with the post-race focus on team orders, Hamilton has conceded his 70th career F1 victory came as bittersweet with an awkward podium ceremony alongside Bottas in Sochi.

While Mercedes has cleared the air with both drivers, with Bottas seemingly set to be exposed to similar situations until Hamilton can wrap up the drivers’ title, the F1 world championship leader is eager to leave the issue in Russia.

COTA #2 - Tremendous Turn 1

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“It’s been something I’ve thought about but I don’t think you get your mind around it,” Hamilton said. “You just have to accept it and move forwards. I am definitely split just like 50 percent of the people, or all of the people who have split opinions about it.

“I feel one way about it and on the other side I feel another way about it. It’s happened and that’s it. I think collectively as a team we’ve stayed quite united through the whole experience. I was at the factory on Monday and I am sure 50 percent of the guys at the factory have the same vibe but generally the support was quite amazing and also the respect for Valtteri.

“We all did a toast to Valtteri at the factory other day. 900 people or whatever it is where standing there, it was pretty awesome.”

Hamilton accepts team orders will remain a part of F1 given the ‘unusual’ dual battle for both the drivers’ and constructors’ crowns which will continue to produce a conflict under the current sporting rules.

“This is the most unusual sport in that sense that you have two championships,” he said. “So unlike people watching football or any other sport, where everyone works towards that one goal, there are  two goals here.

“You’re conflicted in trying to achieve those two goals because there’s only one drivers that can win, yet there’s two drivers and you have a team championship that you want to win.

“It’s a difficult dynamic because the team works together to win the championship but then they also want to win the drivers’ championship but only one of you can win so they’re conflicted as they don’t want to favour either driver and they would want both of their drivers to win but it’s impossible so you’re always at a loss.”



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