Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes, Hockenheimring, 2018

Bottas says there’s “no hard feelings” over Mercedes team orders

2018 German Grand Prix

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Valtteri Bottas says he accepted Mercedes’ decision to call off the fight for the lead between their two drivers at the end of the German Grand Prix.

Mercedes told Bottas to hold position behind Lewis Hamilton after the pair fought for the lead when the race was restarted.

Bottas said he didn’t object to the decision because he hadn’t been able to pass Hamilton after the restart anyway.

“From my side, no hard feelings on the call,” he said. “It made complete sense for me.”

“We had the battle in the first lap [after the Safety Car], that was it. I’d already lost the race before that with the Safety Car for me it was really bad timing so it didn’t really go my way.”

Bottas confirmed the pair were allowed to race immediately after the restart.

“After the Safety Car went out we were free to race and I think we had a nice battle with Lewis the first lap after the Safety Car,” he said.

“Here you need a quite a big pace difference to overtake and being more or less on equal tyres it would have been really tricky.”

The timing of the Safety Car race hurt Bottas’s hopes of winning the race, he said.

“As a driver the win is what you are looking after and when Seb [Vettel] went off I thought ‘now is a good chance’. But I think for Lewis the Safety Car was better timed, he could stay out, I had to stop. ”

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Dieter Rencken
Dieter Rencken has held full FIA Formula 1 media accreditation since 2000, during which period he has reported from over 300 grands prix, plus...
Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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23 comments on “Bottas says there’s “no hard feelings” over Mercedes team orders”

  1. Yeah, the guy just can’t touch Vettel whenever he is in reach. Can’t complain.

    Feels like he isn’t as excited about his position within the team now as he was in the start.

    Probably got there thinking on winning a dozen of races and fighting for the title with Hamilton, but instead has to work hard to help his team mate win cuz the competition is too tight.

    1. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is the reason Bottas was just signed for another year! They don’t want someone in the team who can actually beat Hamilton, they want a patsy who can be his rear gunner and obey team orders. Of course team orders at this stage are probably called for, but let’s be honest, this could have been the first race of the season and Bottas still would have moved over is the team asked him to.

      Ricciardo will never be in a Mercedes or Ferrari while Hamilton and Vettel are there – the team’s don’t want to upset and embarrass their expensive ‘lead drivers’, as Ricciardo surely would!

      1. Maybe they will allow Nicky in a Mercedes, because Nicky knows how teams work internally

      2. I believe they would let him win if this was the first race. Or maybe one of the four first races.
        He needs to show them he can handle a fight for the title in a situation which Hamilton is underperforming or not there at all. He never consistently did that.

        Now they have no reason to let him win. They can’t spare points anymore.

        In his defense, i believe Rosberg wouldn’t fare much better. He left the team on the perfect moment to preserve his image as a top driver.

  2. No the same as Ferrari who ordered Kimi to let crashttel overtake.

    1. It’s time to start thinking of the championship. They didn’t let Vettel through a couple of races ago but I think now is the time to say Kimi is not going to win the World Championship, so fair enough. I don’t fully understand the vitriol towards team orders during the second part of the year.

  3. Bottas chances at this championship are over so I think he understands very well what his role is for this year.

  4. Bottas has always struck me as a very frank (typically Finnish) guy. He doesn’t make excuses & tells it like he thinks it is. It was a good little scrap between him & Lewis at the restart, but it’s obvious that there was never going to be a better opportunity to give it a go: once Hamilton’s tires were back up to temperature, it was unlikely that he was ever going to get past anyway without trying something even more heroic. I’m glad that the order to hold station came after the fight was pretty much contested & settled.

    1. Pretty much the same for Raikkonen. It didn’t seem like he objected to the order, just to that rediculous packaging of it.

      1. He wasn’t happy but by now he knows his position in the team

  5. Everytime Hamilton had some issue, Bottas was free to fight and win. And he failed every single time this year. Sometimes for sheer bad luck, yes, but he could’ve won a race already in Bahrein.

    He seems too content to be 2nd behind Vettel and he should’t be.

    Now it’s too late into the championship to avoid team orders for the number one driver.

    1. Yup if bottas wants to show merc he can fight for the championship he is going to have to show them he can fight vettel on track and help the team which he failed to do so on multiple occasions

    2. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
      23rd July 2018, 1:03

      I think it’s hard to catch Vettel or the Ferraris on the same tires with a Mercedes.

      1. it is actually the otherway around… mercedes usually on the step harder tyres while doing the same paces… it is just on very hot conditions, merc eat their tyres faster, but in cool conditions, merc are actually uncatchable esp when ham is leading… in rain, Ham in any car is untouchable… he just is nearly unbeatable rainmaster!

        Vettel is just a bubble, if you squeeze him just a tiny wee bit, he bursts spectacularly…

  6. Not bad for a number 2 driver eh?..haha..I had to say that!

    In all honesty, I applaud Bottas for being a good team player. Its a team sport after all. Lets hope that Mercedes return him the favour at some point. I doubt this would have gone down well had Rosberg been in the other car…would have been fun though!

    1. And that’s why Rosberg beat Ham, and probably why Bot never will!

  7. The team needed this 1-2 to retake both championships lead, not sure what all the whining is about. Was it better if they fought hard and killed their tires or had an accident and burned 43 championship points? It is easy to see why they gave this order which by the way came AFTER they finished battling for the 1st place.

    1. Invisiblekid
      22nd July 2018, 22:20

      Another 43 points too.

      Totally the right decision and one that Bottas (N0.2 driver or not) understood. Why way he confirmed the radio message said as much. He knew he that one chance and then it’d be called. If it was dry, maybe they would have ket them race a bit more.

  8. Did someone do the math to see if he would have beat Hamilton out of not for the yakety sax moment with his tires? Also another instance of MB not having a plan for an SC situation. Hamilton was blazing on ultras so why was there any question on what to put on bottas’ car?

  9. Dude has a one-year contract extension. He can fight for the championship next year. Meanwhile, he gets to drive a Mercedes and fight for victories when he can, and play rear-gunner for Hamilton when necessary. No surprise he took the call with nothing more than a shrug.

  10. Everyone knows Hammy has #1 driver status at Mercedes.

    It’s why they didn’t sign Ricciardo.

    1. Everyone knows anon is a whinny anon, and thats why merc will never even mention his name anywhere, bcoz noone know who da anon is!

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