Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff refused to name Lewis Hamilton as his No 1 driver
Bottas took pole position on Saturday in Bahrain but could only finish third in Sunday's race as Lewis Hamilton showed better pace than his Finnish team-mate.
But neither could match Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel who drove flawlessly to take his second victory of the season.
The German is now seven points clear of Hamilton in the F1 World Drivers' Championship while Bottas is already 30 points off the pace in third.
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However, Wolff refused to nominate one of his drivers as the priority with just
"You need to keep [the race open to both drivers] with only three races down in the season," Wolff said.
Neither Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas could catch Sebastian Vettel
"We have always maintained that philosophy.
"I don't want to even discuss it yet because it's not fair towards Valtteri."
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Bottas was visibly upset in post-race interviews to have been forced to stand aside although he conceded he had not been as fast as Hamilton and also reiterated that as a team player, he would always obey the orders.
And Wolff, a close personal friend of the Finn, admitted that he had wanted to avoid having to ask the 27-year-old to swap places.
"We tried to maintain the order and not interfere in the running order because it's an awful call you need to make," Wolff added.
"But at a certain stage you have to decide – are you losing the race or are you making a call that is not a nice one?"