Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Hockenheimring, 2018

Hamilton: Mercedes’ German GP team orders made no difference

2018 German Grand Prix

Posted on

| Written by and

Lewis Hamilton says he would have won the German Grand Prix without Mercedes’ instruction for Valtteri Bottas to hold position behind him.

Hamilton and Bottas confirmed the order was given to him at turn 12 following the restart. The pair fought side-by-side through several corners earlier in the lap but Hamilton had drawn clear by turn 12.

“Valtteri had fresher tyres, they woke up a little bit quicker than mine, and it was fair game,” Hamilton explained. “He gave it a great shot, I think I positioned fortunately the car in the right place.”

Hamilton said Bottas accepted the team order and acknowledged he’d missed his best chance to take the lead.

“Afterwards when we were back in the meeting room Toto [Wolff, team principal] stood there and said ‘come over’ and Valtteri came over. Valtteri was like ‘it’s fine’, because by the time [Wolff] gave the order he said [Hamilton] had already pulled away. It wasn’t like [Wolff] told him while we were in battle.”

Earlier in the race Sebastian Vettel had been unable to get close to team mate Kimi Raikkonen despite the advantage of newer tyres. Hamilton said this showed Bottas was unlikely to get past.

“The fans of course they want to see us keep racing,” he said. “But I had pretty good pace that Sunday and if you look it’s not an easy track to overtake.

“Sebastian, who was quick in the first part of the race, wasn’t able to overtake Kimi. So that’s how it would have been pictured anyway if we were been left to fight it out until the end.”

Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free

Bottas said it was hard to predict whether he’d have been able to pass Hamilton.

“In all honesty, I think kind of the biggest of the battle was already there, at least, that lap, as it is very tricky to follow.

“We’re in similar cars, OK, there was a little bit of a tyre difference but the last sector is extremely difficult to follow and it is just unknown if I would have had any other opportunities or not.”

Hamilton said he understood the reason for the call but isn’t convinced it was necessary.

“When I spoke to Toto I understand his perspective: We’re at the German Grand Prix, all of a sudden we’re first and second. You’ve seen how other team mates cause trouble and lose points through silly mistakes.

“And whilst he’s got the utmost respect and trust in us, you see how passionate Toto is. He doesn’t want to lose what we’ve worked so hard to gain. And we were in a great position and he is like I want to keep it the way it is.”

“I don’t think at this point we need to have those kind of things,” Hamilton added. “But I think as a team, we are a team, we’re there to get those results so ultimately we do need to work together in certain scenarios.

“But I was quite happy with the battle we had. We were quite respectable in the space that we give each other. That space probably wouldn’t be there if he was racing against Ferrari or vice-versa.”

Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free

2018 F1 season

Browse all 2018 F1 season articles

22 comments on “Hamilton: Mercedes’ German GP team orders made no difference”

  1. I think that´s pretty spot on really, maybe BOT would try to stay in his wake another and try to have another go but don´t think he would made stick in the end

    1. *another couple of laps

    2. Melbourne
      That is pure speculation on what might have happened. The instruction to hold position, meant Lewis was not attacked. From memory, Botas had the fresher tyres. That is all that needs to be said.

  2. But after Bot was told to not challenge he gave up. Maybe in another team he would have tried again?

  3. Michael Brown (@)
    26th July 2018, 20:14

    Hamilton’s one of the best at defending his position

    1. especially when in the lead

    2. Agreed. Never afraid to chop his teammate.

  4. Day after day the communication of Mercedes and Hamilton goes more Trump style. Lies, fantasies, narcissism and a lack of good manners and style.

    Why would Ham say this, his team mate gave up the chance to pass him and still he has to tell us how great he is and would have done it all by himself. He drove a good race but he didn’t win because of his skills or fastest car, but because he had an unbelievable lot of luck, and it was not by far the first time lady luck smiled at him.

    1. Why would Ham say this

      Because he was asked?

      but he didn’t win because of his skills or fastest car, but because he had an unbelievable lot of luck, and it was not by far the first time lady luck smiled at him

      Errr just no. Unbelievable amount of luck? How? Hydraulic failure is unbelievable luck is it? 2nd and 3rd place getting a free pitstop under the safety car to attack you at the end of the race is unbelievable luck?

      He did win because of his skill. He had the best pace and tyre management of any of the drivers in the top 3 teams. To claim it was luck is ludicrous. Seriously what was lucky?

    2. Hamilton has won every wet race since 2014. Do you think he’s lucky to have won all the wet races?

      1. Heck yeah. Monaco 2016 to state one blindingly obvious example.

        Most dominant car ever 2014-2017. Lucky Lewis only had to beat one other driver in most of the races since 2014. But Monaco, where not only did his teammate let him past (stupid thing for Nico to do, Hamilton never appreciated it and was a complete ahole in response to Nico for the rest of the season, especially in Abu Dhabi), but also Ricky Bobby’s team forgot to have tyres waiting for him.

        1. Nothing to do with him being able to miss a pit stop by taking wets straight to slicks or anything? Anyone else ever in these Pirelli years managed that?


          Yeh right.


      2. Like Hamilton said the SKY commentators failed to point out the different lines he was driving and the difference that made.

        Untill we have comentators who recognise his skill as a driver, the average viewer will simply conclude he was just lucky.

        BTW can you imagine if Bottas had continue to challenge Lewis, and was forced drive off the dry line to do so? Can you imagine him attempting to brake late, and instead skidding or aquaplaining into lewis. Toto was right to call team orders.

  5. I imagine if Hamilton wins the WDC again this year quite a few people will need to be kept away from bridges and tall buildings.

    1. Shawn Daley
      27th July 2018, 0:42

      😂😂😂 I Love this post..

  6. José Lopes da Silva
    26th July 2018, 23:20

    Hamilton used to have a policy of saying that he wouldn’t need team orders to win. With this article, all of that went rubbish.

  7. As I have posted before, it is still not clear as to whether this manoeuvrer is actually illegal unless it is stipulated as being a race specific penalty such as Brazil or Azerbijan (I think it is Azerbijan).

    In Brazil this is not permitted because the pit-in is technically on the racing line, as far as I remember, so going across the pit in saves time. So they penalised for crossing the pit-in line but not pitting.

    Hamilton went into the pit in lane, but aborted after the bollard. But, as I said, there was no specific ruling regarding this for this track. So as far as I can see it is not deemed a penalty.

    So at the moment this seems to be in the gray area of “allowed but not encouraged”, unless stipulated as being penalty applicable at certain tracks.

  8. We will never know because Toto implemented team orders to cement the win for his #1 driver after 3 corners.

    1. Toto implemented team orders to cement the win for his #1 driver


      after 3 corners


      No wonder you’re anon, 2 mistakes in one sentence is pretty rough going.

  9. Maybe because he is nog only great but the greatest at this moment and people are not acknowledging it?
    Sebastian Vettel.at this time;is the best driver;best overtaker and in the best car.
    However,if you look at the parts used by the top 6 drivers;(MGUK ;etc etc);HAMILTON is clearly the one in a better position ;later in the season to win the title by avoiding penalities.
    Look at it this way:Hamilton is the best manager driver championship wise.
    He has nurtured his car and underused it ;component wise ;in order to win technically;by knock out towards the end of the season when VETTEL,RICCIARDO;RAIKONNEN and Bottas in that order PAY the price of having (at this stage)used more new parts than Hamilton.
    Strange that this crucial part of this championship is not talked about???
    F1 2018 as well as 2017 is all about power units,MGUK management if you listen to CYRIL ABITBOUL from renault.
    At half the stage Hamilton has already;clearly won this championship compared to the top 6 in the championship.

Comments are closed.