Lewis Hamilton, Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes, Hockenheimring, 2018

Mercedes would use same team orders if Bottas was leading – Wollf

2018 German Grand Prix

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Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff says he would have given the same “hold position” order to his drivers in the German Grand Prix had they been running in the opposite order.

Valtteri Bottas was told to follow team mate Lewis Hamilton home in the closing stages of the German Grand Prix.

Wolff denied the order was given to ensure Hamilton, their leading driver in the championship, scored the most points in the race.

“No, absolutely not,” he said. “If it would have been the other way around with Valterri in the lead and Lewis second we would have made the same call. Identical call. It was about bringing it home, we respected who was in the front.”

The team’s priority was “to score the one-two in order to recover some of the points that we lost to bad luck,” Wolff added.

The decision to freeze the running order with Hamilton ahead does not show the team will favour Hamilton in future races, he added.

“Racing is most important. We always said that if the championship goes into its last third or last quarter and there is a big difference between the drivers then we might make this uncomfortable call.

“But it’s much too early in the season to do this. Today we did it in order to bring a one-two home. As I said, we would have done it the other way around.”

Ferrari also imposed team orders on their drivers during yesterday’s race, telling Kimi Raikkonen to let Sebastian Vettel past at one stage. Wolff said this decision was “also a very difficult call” for Mercedes’ rivals.

“On one side went want to optimise the result and that is what you need to do but on the other side you need to give both drivers a chance to win the race.

“Kimi was unlucky in a few races at the beginning of the season where the strategy went against him and I think Ferrari struggled to come up with the right call there. It’s understandable.”

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84 comments on “Mercedes would use same team orders if Bottas was leading – Wollf”

  1. Joke of the day!

    1. Joke of the day!

      But then again we all know you’re biased.

    2. @mg1982 Remember when Hamilton was let past Bottas to attack Raikkonen and handed the place back when he couldn’t overtake? With danger to his own position since Verstappen was close behind Bottas and Bottas was going agonizingly slow.

      Now think if your idol would ever be such a team player?

      1. He’s not saying Hamilton would attack Bottas if instructed not to. He’s saying that Mercedes would never have a situation where Bottas is allowed to gain points when Hamilton could gain them. I think, if I remember right, even in Hungary Mercedes said to Hamilton to hold position at the end of the race as there was a gap back to Bottas, and Hamilton let Bottas through being fair as that was the initial agreement.
        If Bottas had been in first, 100% they’d have let Hamilton attack.

        1. @hugh11 So there is actually a race where Hamilton was told to hand his position (and points) to Bottas, but you can’t imagine this ever happening. Ehm … OK.

          1. That’s not what I said. Reread it.

            I think, if I remember right, even in Hungary Mercedes said to Hamilton to hold position at the end of the race as there was a gap back to Bottas, and Hamilton let Bottas through being fair

    3. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
      23rd July 2018, 14:10

      I could see them making that call. Bottas has been unlucky not to have won a GP this season and P2 from P14 is a great result any which way you see it.

      I imagine, however, that Lewis would probably have made the pass stick after the Safety Car if it was the other way around.

      Plus I feel that Toto would trust Lewis more if he was the hunter rather than the hunted. I think that everyone knows that Lewis was not going to let anyone easily pass him yesterday (even his teammate) without duking it out to the last inch. Given the track conditions that resulted in an unforced error from a driver like Vettel, it was quite likely that it would have ended in tears.

    4. Toto is a good clown. He made me smile again.

      1. That’s why Mercedes has Toto running their F1 team and not you.

  2. Wait, you’re serious? Let me laugh even harder

  3. I’m inclined to believe him. Would Hamilton have listened though is another story

    1. with vettel out of the way already i do believe hamilton would of obeyed.

    2. Look at Hungary last year, and that was a race Vettel won.

      1. Only that it wasn’t HAM to give away any place, it was BOT. It was another move where HAM had everything to gain whereas BOT only to lose. It didn’t work out, plus there was no win at stake, so HAM played it wise by keeping BOT his “friend” for some other time… a more important situation. Like yesterday, for example: by telling BOT to hold station HAM did not risk losing 7 points and the win. The main idea stands: they risked BOT place for HAM. Would have Toto asked HAM to move aside to let BOT try the same thing?! The way they keep telling BOT to hold station…. hardly believe it.

        1. @mg1982 Wow. Just wow.

        2. What a load of incoherent ranting

          [I] hardly believe it

          Says more about you than anything else.

    3. @tango Hamilton would probably have made it stick in the lap they were given to sort themselves out. After that it’s not going to happen anymore anyway.

  4. @mg1982 @mrboerns seriously though why wouldn’t have they? They were FINALLY going to get a 1-2, apparently on a track where for once Ferrari seems to have been faster. And seeing Hungary last year I don’t think favouring HAM just because was really something they’d have thought about.

  5. The had the Mercedes team boss at Silverstone and they were 2nd and 4th. With the condition of the track and funding themselves occupying 1st and 2nd position, I can understand why Toto would not want to throw away that strong finish with his boss looking over his shoulders.

    1. for the first time i actually believe toto.

      1. So do I. Bottas on better tyres was given a lap to get past before the fight was called off. If it was about favouring Hamilton the instruction to hold station would have been given before the SC came in.

          1. ian dearing
            23rd July 2018, 13:08

            Yes, that’s right. Given earlier to protect the team, not please Hamilton.

  6. SparkyAMG (@)
    23rd July 2018, 9:16

    I think if any one of us was in Toto’s shoes and our priority was to win the WCC we’d have done the same thing. He’d have come under serious scrutiny from his bosses if he’d let them race and they’d crashed out or lost out on the 1-2, especially at their home race.

    We can complain all day about team orders ruining races but it’s easy to forget that these are massive corporate entities who have a very different outlook and priorities to us fans.

    On this occasion, I don’t think Bottas would have gotten close enough again over the remaining laps to launch another attack anyway. Hamilton had covered him off effectively after the safety car restart and had already broken DRS by the time the team order was made. It’s probably why Bottas didn’t argue the decision at all… he knew it didn’t matter.

    1. Their priority is not the WCC. Where did you get these ideas?! RAI is not that good anymore, hardly believe he had “something” against HAM. Not the case with BOT, he showed he might be able to overtake HAM. So, a 1-2 was in cards for Mercedes anyway, thing is they preferred HAM 1st, BOT 2nd.

      1. @mg1982 From what I understood Mercedes receives a 30million bonus because they won back to back championships. That does sound like something they might want to continue for as long as possible.

      2. SparkyAMG (@)
        23rd July 2018, 10:52

        @mg1982 whilst I’m fairly sure you must be trolling, I’ll indulge you.

        Every team, except perhaps Ferrari, will prioritise World Championship points until they can no longer move up or down in the standings. Their final position in the championship not only affects the level of payment they’ll receive from FOM next season, but for the next three seasons.

        If money wasn’t enough of a motivating factor, this season Mercedes are chasing a record equaling 5 consecutive WCCs (a Ferrari record no less), but for the first time since the hybrid era began they are not dominating the WCC and have instead been trading 1st place with Ferrari themselves.

        I’m not sure where Raikonnen comes into this… this is purely about the above.

        1. As for the consecutive WCC, it’s 6, not 5, ferrari also won it in 1999, so it’d take mercedes another year yet, it’s the WDC they can equal.

      3. So, a 1-2 was in cards for Mercedes anyway, thing is they preferred HAM 1st, BOT 2nd.


        However, to get a 1-2 with no risk, they would have had to ask HAM to let BOT past. This is very different to asking them to hold station, IMHO. In that case you are deliberately changing the result of the race, rather than keeping it the way it is.

        Their other option would have been to just allow them to race, but that would have been very risk. The chance that they could have ended up with 2 DNFs instead of a 1-2 is not a risk they would have been willing to take (and I wouldn’t either).

        It was also not the case that BOT could make the result any better for the team. If they were 2-3 and BOT had a chance to make it a 1-3 then they may have done so. In fact, on the contrary, by allowing BOT past they could have allowed RAI a chance to attack HAM and end up with 1-3 instead of 1-2.

        The maths all pointed to their chosen path: Keep the result, the best result possible for the team*, as it was. Any other choice left a risk of a worse result, and had no chance of improving the result. Take the “who” out of the result and I think most people would make exactly the same call.

        * As a side benefit, their strongest WDC contender also gained more points. This is not an inconsequential side effect: WDC has more prestige than WCC, and BOT has a much smaller chance of winning that than HAM. This isn’t about number 1 and 2 drivers, but about realism and maths. However, I doubt that even came into their deliberations, and I don’t doubt that Toto is being completely honest that he would make exactly the same call if the situation was reversed.

        1. @drmouse I think that is well summed up.

          I am happy to hear TW say what he has, but I fear the writing is on the wall for VB anyway. LH now has seven more points than he already had over VB, and the WDC fight remains between LH and SV. I wonder if TW is speaking with the luxury of hindsight.

          Just as in Hungary last year when LH reluctantly handed VB back his position, I’m not convinced LH would have been so accommodating to hold station behind VB yesterday had things been reversed. All well and good for TW to say that is what would have happened, and I want to believe him, but I’m sure LH at a minimum would have dragged out the pity party and had a sulky look on his face had he not been allowed a win on a day when SV dnf’d. And at least that would have added some spice to things. But in the heat of the moment, given TW’s suggestion they would have done the same with VB leading, I’m not so sure…again…in the heat of the moment.

          The other thing that could easily have happened is that indeed had VB been leading, there could have been an order for him to let LH past in order to maximize his WDC points vs. SV, and that would have also been a team decision and one that VB would have had to submit to and be resigned to, given the points imbalance. That way a pass could have happened that wasn’t risky. Ie. they don’t have to hold station strictly under the guise that that is the only safe way to finish the day.

          I expect that VB, unless he dominates SV and LH in the next two races, is already the number two and will not actually be able to race LH from here on in. He’ll have to get poles and lead races in order to keep the team from either arranging him to come out behind LH, or asking him to relinquish positions. Of course that will depend on what others, particularly SV, are up to in the races. Anyhoo…no scraps between LH and VB for the rest of the season, not that there ever are any.

          1. @robbie

            I don’t doubt that HAM would have been miffed if the situation was reversed, however he has shown that he will follow team orders before. I doubt that BOT was very happy at being told to stay behind.

            As to the WDC, I think that it’d take a miracle for anyone other than HAM or VET to win now. Ferrari have always had an advantage here, playing the team game and using a number 2 driver to help the number 1 to win. As it is a team sport, I think this is very sensible: as much as I dislike it as a fan, I would do the same as a team principal. Why potentially throw away a WDC? Fairness may get some kudos, but they are in it to win it and would be stupid to throw points away.

          2. @drmouse Fair comment. Well said.

          3. Just as in Hungary last year when LH reluctantly handed VB back his position

            You seem to have added a spurious “reluctantly” to your comment. That was not the case at all.

            I doubt that BOT was very happy at being told to stay behind

            To be honest I think he might have been quite happy to hear it, especially given his reaction on the radio. He must have known that his only real chance to pass Hamilton had gone anyway when he didn’t make it stick at the hairpin, and barring a slip up from Hamilton (a la Vettel in Canada 2011) he was most realistically going to finish second. The team telling him to hold station basically gave him a get out of jail free card for not winning the race.

          4. @Martin It was LH’s idea to have VB allow him past so he could go after the two Ferraris in Hungary 2017. He did so under the proviso, by his own suggestion, that if he couldn’t get by Kimi he’d give VB the spot back. But as the race neared the end you hear LH on the radio asking the team, ‘so you want me to let Valterri back, yeah?’ So it was LH’s idea, but in the end he was fishing for confirmation that that is what he should do. He didn’t say ok now I’m going to give VB back his spot, rather, he first asked if that was still the plan.

            And lol if VB was happy to not win the race, he doesn’t belong on a top team, for then we the paying audience are being robbed of racing in the pinnacle of racing. But nice try anyway. Nice try making it sound like they did VB a favour.

          5. You do love to twist stuff don’t you @robbie

            ‘so you want me to let Valterri back, yeah?’ So it was LH’s idea, but in the end he was fishing for confirmation that that is what he should do

            Er no. You are either painfully wrong or deliberately misrepresenting Hamilton (but hey that wouldn’t be the first time)

            Here is the context to that little snippet you quoted and then added your own interpretation (again not the first time :) ) to

            To Lewis Hamilton: So we’ve been given five more laps. Front calipers reaching the limit.
            From Lewis Hamilton: Don’t worry about it. You want me to let Valtteri back, yeah? I don’t need to bust my nut off any more?
            To Lewis Hamilton: Negative, Lewis. Keep the pressure on the Ferraris if you can.

            As is quite clear to everyone the piece you quoted was not Hamilton fishing to be allowed to stay in front as the message was a response to his race engineer literally telling him he had another 5 laps in front. He was actually saying he didn’t think it mattered and was asking to forgo the 5 laps and let Bottas back through there and then (to which his race engineer replied no). This is the complete opposite attitude as what you accuse him of having.

            Here’s what Toto had to say on the matter

            Then we had a long discussion internally about how we would make the move, because Verstappen was coming much closer, and we didn’t want to lose the podium and P4 under any circumstances.

            So we advised him about the gap and discussed where the right place would be and decided it would be last lap into the last corner, because that would limit the overtaking opportunities for Verstappen. So he backed up and there wasn’t any discussion.

            “So he backed up and there wasn’t any discussion” doesn’t really sound like someone trying to unfairly keep their place right?

            And lol if VB was happy to not win the race

            And I didn’t say that. Nice try with your strawman there.

            Nice try making it sound like they did VB a favour

            So you think Bottas would have won the race without that team order? That really is something.

      4. Mercedes AMG Petronas’s Priority isn’t the WCC?!? Really?

        Wherever you live must some really lax laws about recreational drug use. :)

  7. The issue I have isn’t with the team order (even though it went against my favoured driver), it is why Mercedes again dropped the ball at a crucial moment. Bottas had driven a great race to that point, was in the lead and was called into the pits to see his mechanics scrambling around looking for a set of tyres. They got a 1-2 and have retaken the lead of both championships, but they still need to improve.

    1. It’s also worth remembering that even though they got Hamilton’s strategy 100% correct, this was only due to a miscommunication. They had wanted him to pit at the same time as Bottas. So not only would he have been stacked behind Bottas’s very slow stop they would have also had to scramble to find a set of slicks for Hamilton.

    2. Mercedes were lucky that the awful pit stop for Bottas didn’t end up hurting them. As it was, even a sub 2 second stop would have dropped him behind Hamilton, and he still came out ahead of Kimi. It was therefore a bit overlooked but it was a very poor stop, similar to Ricciardo’s in Monaco 2016.

    3. @geemac Bottas was on much older tyres than Hamilton and he was on the wrong compound for the weather. He needed to switch to ultra softs to cope with the conditions. Hamilton was going 2 seconds a lap faster.

      Raikkonen and Bottas both HAD to pit. Hamilton didn’t and they almost messed that one up.

      1. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
        23rd July 2018, 11:13

        From wat I saw, I think hamilton was only as much as 2 seconds a lap quicker than Kimi and Bottas when both drivers were stuck behind about 5 lapped drivers and Hamilton was in open air. Before that Hamilton was catching Bottas at under a second a lap, but yes, still quite some difference. I’m nt certain, so you can corrct me if I’m wrong. But I don’t think 2 seconds was actually how much hamilton was faster than those two if they were all in clean air at that stage.

        1. @thegianthogweed I’m talking averages. After it started to rain, Hamiton gained 12 seconds on Bottas and 15 seconds on Raikkonen over 6 laps.

          He gained 9 seconds on Vettel over 5 laps. Then Vettel picked up the pace (and crashed out).

          In lap by lap differences it was between 1 and 5 seconds per lap.

      2. @patrickl I’m not questioning the rationale to stop. The ultra was the right tyre and he did need to stop for it, but the team weren’t ready for him and if Hamilton didn’t make the (race winning) decision to stay out himself they wouldn’t have been ready for him either. That’s the issue.

        1. @geemac Agreed, they did mess up the stop yes. Still, luckily it didn’t change anything for the outcome of the race this time.

          In their defense, I would say it makes sense they were ready with wet weather tyres. The mechanics started running almost right away when Vettel crashed, but that didn’t leave them much time.

  8. Seriously!!!!! Please, it makes you laugh, in fact … it is like the wind …. well clear in the course of the race: – enter, enter, Box, Box, box ……….. no, no, no, …… stay out, stay out, … in …. in …… out …. out …

  9. Even without team orders Hamilton bolted away from Bottas after defending the corner, Bottas had the one chance with a slip stream on the restart and unsurprisingly Hamilton defended well by which point Bottas was compromised and Hamilton pulled out consecutive fastest laps of the race and a 4 sec gap. Even without Team orders it is unlikely Bottas would have had the pace to pass Hamilton who was gone as soon as his tyres were back up to temperature.

    1. @ju88sy Didn’t Bottas drop back simply because he was told he had had his chance and the fight was over?

      A radio message on TV might be from a bit earlier too.

      Still, I agree it makes sense they got one lap to fight it out. If it didn’t happen by then it’s never going to happen anymore anyway.

      1. @patrickl At the restart Hamilton defended the move by Bottas, you could see on the footage that Bottas had some understeer into the corner and immediately Hamilton’s exit was much better and the gap started to open, extending as his tyres came up to temp and Hamilton bolted.

        The radio audio does not always exactly match the footage. It wasn’t in Bottas interest to drop-back to a 4 sec gap with Raikonnen and Verstappen breathing down his neck, I don’t think he had the same pace (neither did Raikonnen) otherwise he would have let Hamilton pull him along.

        1. @ju88sy Hamilton also dropped back to 4 seconds behind Raikkonen when Ferrari sacrificed Raikkonen at lap 14 to keep Hamilton back. Hamilton then held station at almost exactly 4 seconds for something like 25 laps (until HAM pitted).

          Same with Bottas. He dropped back to 4 seconds behind Hamilton and then held station at 4 seconds for 5 laps (until the end of the race).

          I’m assuming that’s the most comfortable distance to drive around without negative influence from the car ahead.

    2. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
      23rd July 2018, 10:19

      Bottas dropped back as soon as he was given the orders. You can’t conclude any thing after ths really. As Bottas was the one with better tyres, it was likely that if he could keep pushing, he will have likely been able to keep challenging Hamilton. But I’m not certain if he’ll have got past as Hamilton is good at defending. But Bottas response to the instruction was very quick so we should’t judge Bottas as being slower than Hamilton at this stage witout a good reason. He did’n’t need to push hard at all as all he needed to do was get 2nd.

      1. At some points Kimi was within a second of Bottas so yeah you can conclude Hamilton had a genuine pace advantage over Bottas once his tyres were back in the window. If he was dropping back because of team orders he would never have let Kimi get so close, also he would have wanted to stay pretty close to Hamilton regardless in case of a Canada 2011 situation so he could capitalise, that he didn’t also showed he didn’t have the pace to.

        The team order was a pain but ultimately the didn’t change the outcome of the race. Bottas’s best chance was the hairpin on the first lap after the safety car, no way was he getting passed Hamilton after that.

        1. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
          23rd July 2018, 14:31

          I still don’t agree with this. The pace difference Bottas suddenty had must have been intentional to begin with. He wouldn’t suddenly be that much slower on newer tyres. The mistake he possibly made by backing off and not trying that hard doing this to keep the tyres up to temperature. But if he didn’t have the order, given his tyre advantage, I see no reason why he couldn’t have kept up with Hamilton. I know Bottas let Kimi into DRS range, But he soon did open it up a bit again. Given Bottas did have orders and we don’t know how much he chose to back off, we can’t conclude anything.

          1. He wouldn’t suddenly be that much slower on newer tyres

            Why? Hamilton was on older tyres, they were always going to take longer than Bottas’s to get back in the window. Coupled with Hamilton being the first driver for many minutes to reach each corner at racing speed and Bottas was always going to have the edge. What changed was not that Bottas got slower (because he didn’t, every subsequent lap from him was faster than that first one) but that Hamilton’s tyres got into the window and he sped up.

            But even ignoring the lap time evidence Bottas’s pace makes no sense if he could go faster. Bottas gained his place on Kimi through him being right behind him when Kimi went wide and would have been well aware that if a Canada 2011 situation were to unfold he would need to be up there to capitalise. He’s also smart and experienced enough to know not to back off so much as to give himself tyre temperature issues so that is a non starter right there.

            Also if he could go faster why let Kimi get so close? That’s just asking to throw away 2nd place.

            You may not agree but the explanation that fits all the facts and makes logical sense is that Hamilton had better pace at the end of the race. This explanation is also borne out by the rest of the race, where Hamilton also had better pace than Bottas.

        2. @ Martin, See my explanation above. I think it’s clear from the laptimes that this 4 second gap is something the (Mercedes) drivers prefer.

          As Raikkonen explained, even though the Ferrari is less sensitive and the Mercedes doesn’t cause so much wake, following the car ahead closely was impossible for him also.

          So Raikkonen could follow somewhat closer, but he couldn’t stay in DRS range. Let alone that he could ever attack Bottas.

      2. Not that I disagree with you but Hamilton have been able to fend Rosberg off with slower tyres in the past. So I personally think Bottas has zero chance of getting past Hamilton once Hamilton tyre temp were up to range. His only chance was slip-stream at the restart which he tried and failed.

        1. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
          23rd July 2018, 14:40

          Yea, I’m not against anyone saying Bottas will still have finished behind Hamilton. What I do disagree with some about is those that say Hamilton had much better pace than Bottas in the final part of the race. This could be possible, but as Bottas had team orders which he instantly responded to, we can’t really judge Bottas after that. As not trying as hard as he could may have not kept his tyres up to temperature and affected his time gap to Hamilton. We don’t know anythig for certain about this. So that is why i don’t like people saying Hamilton was far better than Bottas in this stint without evidence. Earlier, that was a different story, in the 2nd stint at least.

    3. with the cars lying 1-2 there was no decision to be made
      all the money the teams get comes from the constructors championship and Toto isn’t so stupid as to let them fight in those conditions

  10. Bit of a noob question here but does Bottas consider himself a worse driver than Hamilton?

    1. Doubt it, pretty sure like most, if not all the current drivers, they’d like to think they could beat anyone.

  11. Team sport ultimately. Bottas knows where he stands in the team. Bottas proved that he is gentleman and a true professional. Sadly, not a trait that wins you titles. It’s interesting to note that since the turn of the century, the only driver you would classify as “nice guy/gentleman” to have won the title is Jenson (ok maybe Kimi as well, but Kimi is just Kimi, he can’t be classified as anything but Kimi :))

    Imagine if the tables were turned and it was Lewis who had his pitstop botched and found himself behind Bottas on fresh ultras.

    1. Archit (@architjain07)
      23rd July 2018, 13:30

      @jaymenon10 – If Lewis were behind, he would have overtaken Bottas before team orders were put in place! There is a reason he is 4 X WDC and receives $40 million per year! Mercedes is not stupid to pay him so much. They have the data and know he is by far one the best on the grid. Bottas is good but still not championship material. But again people need to be reminded this every now and then!

      1. How long have been watching this sport mate?

        “If Lewis were behind, he would have overtaken Bottas before team orders were put in place!”

        Sure, why not?

    2. The same Jenson who snuck up behind Lewis and tried to pull a sneaky overtake ala Vettel on Vebber when they’d been told to maintain position under Whitmarsh?

    3. Bernie's Lizardman Grandpa
      23rd July 2018, 15:19

      That trait might win Bottas a title or two if it means Mercedes keep him long term, especially if Hamilton decides to stop at the end of 2020.

  12. Is he for real?
    they called valterri in the pits when his tryres were not even ready. and he spent an awful lot of time in the pits. and then they asked the very next instance for lewis to not come in. Isnt that clear sabotaging of bottas race?
    and then on fresher tyres asked valterri to not go for the win? Oh give me a freaking break from this farce of a team! They are a joke!

    1. Shady, Bottas really had to stop. Hamilton didn’t.

      It’s ok that you don’t understand, but don’t pretend they did this to sabotage Bottas.

      1. I admire your tenacity Patrick! You’ll never get past the emotions of some of these fans though.

  13. Oh really…

  14. Tommy Franssila
    23rd July 2018, 16:18

    So true and yet, so un true, where is the escaleted salary for Bottas, Lewis the priority, salaries tell us all we need to know…

  15. Bottas was in front.

  16. Neil (@neilosjames)
    23rd July 2018, 17:17

    I believe him. But then, I also think that, had their positions and tyre situations been reversed, Hamilton would have got the job done at the restart and taken the lead…

    That was the best opportunity Bottas was ever going to get… they didn’t even need to issue the orders after he’d failed there, because once Hamilton’s tyres were up to temperature he could have maintained the gap.

  17. team orders? I thought Ferrari were the only team using them …

  18. team orders? I thought only Ferrari used them

  19. I find it inconceivable that Mercedes would have ordered Hamilton with fresh tyres to stay behind Bottas especially given that Bottas is no real chance for the championship.

    I feel sorry for Vettel. Ferrari procrastinated in telling Kimi to move over. Had they told Kimi to move over earlier, Vettel would have had a 20 second lead when the rain came and would have been under no pressure to push.

    Mercedes on the other hand ordered Bottas to stay behind Hammy the first moment Bottas looked like a chance of winning the race. Didn’t even give Bottas half a lap to attack Hammy before calling the fight off.

    Ferrari’s lack of team orders cost Vettel a win.

    Mercedes team orders gave Hammy a win.

    1. Vettel’s failure to keep the car on track cost him the win. Hamilton won by a mixture of superb tyre conservation that kept him with the leaders despite doing 40+ laps, speed in the difficult changing conditions when he had the ultras, ‘luck’ that his main rival and race leader binned the car and brought out a safety car, and a tenacious defense from Bottas’s attack at the SC restart. Could Bottas have challenged Hamilton after the first lap? Unlikely. And remember that Mercedes were pushing Hamilton to build a 5-sec time gap (presumably over Raikkonen, not Bottas) in case of a penalty for the pit lane incident. So the engine boost they gave him would have to be given to Bottas too make it even plausible. That’s been missing from the debate over the Mercedes team order – Mercedes were already concerned to open up that gap, especially to Raikkonen, to try to ensure a 1-2 even after a potential 5-sec penalty to Hamilton.

      1. Hamilton won due to the team being aggressive with tyre strategy (had nothing to lose since they were always going to finish at least 4th) and his faster teammate being ordered to stay behind him in the last 8 or so laps.

        Sure, Vettel made a bad error (much like Hamilton did in qualifying). But Ferrari should never have compromised Vettel’s race in such a way. Absolute madness, especially given that Mercedes will do everything they can do benefit their #1 driver at the expense of their #2.

        1. Hamilton won due to the team being aggressive with tyre strategy

          You seem to possess the common ‘anonymous internet’ inability to recognise achievement where recognition is due: to make that strategy work required some remarkable skill and application. Vettel has done that on other day’s. This Sunday wasn’t one of them.

          1. To make that strategy work required SV to take himself out of contention. Without that, Mercedes had an unspectacular day going.

          2. @robbie You’re forgetting that Hamilton was closing in on the leaders with better (grippier) tyres for the conditions. Part of the reason, maybe, why Vettel pushed too hard.

          3. @david-br Possible. It just never really felt to me like SV was under pressure all day, and just had the win in the bag. Like he said, small mistake, big disappointment. Others slipped in the wet too…they just didn’t have a wall quite as near them.

          4. @robbie Well I agree Hamilton catching Vettel seemed improbable, but with unstable track conditions, maybe the uncertainty did add pressure. More rain could have left it extremely difficult for Hamilton but impossible for the leaders without pitting for intermediates.

  20. I guess a lot of people haven’t watched F1 long and have completely forgotten about the constructors championship which is the championship that matters most to teams, and neglected to think that maybe Mercedes wanted to insure that those 50 points were coming home at all costs taking no risk. Especially after seeing what happened at Red Bull, even with the 50 points in the bag they are only sitting 8 points ahead of Ferrari now, a lead that could dissapear very quickly every point in the constructors for Mercedes right now is literally gold dust.

  21. “I think for the sake of the sport and the fans and the drivers, at that stage of the season, the beginning of July, switching drivers is quite a brutal call. They haven’t done it, we wouldn’t have done it.”

    What a rotten hypocrite. Telling your quicker driver with fresher tyres to hold position is little or none better than switching drivers. I guess a lot of time has passed since the beginning of July in Wollf’s calendar.


    1. it’s better because being behind with better tyres still doesn’t equal an overtake maneuvre.
      i remember Kimi in Canada right behind Hamilton with much fresher tyres. And what happened? Nothing.

      Hamilton’s 15 lap US tyres took some time to get up to temps while Bottas’s brand new ones didn’t.
      Who knows if he would be able to mount an attack after that first attempt.

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