Start, Sochi Autodrom, 2018

Bottas hands Hamilton Russian GP win and 50-point lead

2018 Russian Grand Prix summary

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Lewis Hamilton moved closer to clinching a fifth world championship victory after team mate Valtteri Bottas helped him to victory in the Russian Grand Prix.

The Mercedes driver briefly look in danger of losing ground to Sebastian Vettel the championship after he emerged from his sole pit stop behind the Ferrari driver. But Hamilton went on the attack quickly, dived down the inside of Vettel at turn four, and regained his lost place.

A few laps later Valtteri Bottas, who led the early stages of the race from pole position, let Hamilton by at turn 13. That put Hamilton on course to lead the race – but not until Max Verstappen had pitted.

The Red Bull driver started from the back row of the grid but was on the fringes of the top 10 by the end of the first lap, then swiftly picked off the remaining midfielders. So quick was his rise through the pack that the leaders fell behind him after they pitted.

Verstappen, who started on the soft tyres, led until he pitted with 10 laps to go. But after putting the ultra-softs on he didn’t have the pace to chase down Kimi Raikkonen for fourth place. Daniel Ricciardo finished a delayed sixth after picking up front wing damage early in the race.

Charles Leclerc was the first of the midfield drivers home after putting an excellent pass on Kevin Magnussen around the outside of turn three as the second lap began. The Force India pair followed the Haas home, swapping positions twice to give Sergio Perez a chance to pass, before Esteban Ocon led them home in ninth and 10th.

The only retirements were the Toro Rosso pair who spun off in separate incidents within moments of each other early in the race.

Hamilton’s win means he now leads the championship by 50 points with 125 available.

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2018 Russian Grand Prix reaction

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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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176 comments on “Bottas hands Hamilton Russian GP win and 50-point lead”

  1. Vettel now needs a miracle to win the WDC.

    1. He actually needs 2 mirales, both of them DNF’s ..

      1. He’s needed those miracles for about three races now, the WDC has been decided for a while.

        1. …And he needs a teammate who’d hand him some points too…

    2. Ferrari never had the fastest car but Vettel put in some great drives and qualifying efforts. But then the pressure came on and the mistakes. Racing Raikkonen in Germany, the whole Monza fiasco with Kimi in qualifying and at the start, then Singapore with the quali argument…. Interesting how the team has fallen away competitively since Mariconne died. Seems like a serious issue of leadership and way to much reliance on their star driver to make it happen. That pressure is huge and it seems it’s choking Vettel. Think of how strong the leadership at Red Bull and Mercedes is in comparison. Wolff and Horner go to enormous lengths to protect their main drivers. That counts for a lot.

      1. I agreed with everything you said except “Ferrari never had the fastest car”. Ferrari had the faster car for the majority of the season. A better driver, who made less mistakes, would make that more obvious for you. But I understand why you would think this.

        1. I also agree with everything except for the part about Marcionne.
          They have the package but failed as a team.

        2. I think Ferrari had the faster car until the FIA caught up to how they were doing it…

          Also as we saw in singapore, Mercedes have been improving their car and their downforce out of the corners, they are still compromised by any cars ahead of them. Mercedes still qualifies so well that they can start without being compromised by that flaw.

          but yeah, key difference between the teams is Hamilton’s awsome talent.

          1. ‘I think Ferrari had the faster car until the FIA caught up to how they were doing it…’

            Something that is being ignored/overlooked by pretty much everyone.

          2. Dave (@davewillisporter)
            30th September 2018, 18:46

            @stubbornswiss I must have missed something with that Ferrari performance advantage (been wondering how they did it.) What did FIA rumble them for?

          3. Ferrari was faster than Merc on Bahrein, China, Azerbaijan, Monaco, Canada, GBR, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Belgium.

            That’s more than enough for one to challenge for the title.

            But they managed to lose again. Even with the proper machine.
            They must be thinking what kind of car Vettel need to win the WDC as they already gave him two very strong ones and he kept blowing his chances.

      2. Who had the better car ebbed and flowed over the first 10 rounds of the season depending on track characteristics….even redbull had a best car at one round.

        Ferrari had a purple patch from Germany to Italy(4 rounds) where you could say they had a pace advantage over mercedes however over these 4 rounds everything that could go wrong for Ferrari did go wrong including the weather!!

        Now the merc seems to have the advantage since Singapore.

        People are never objective when discussing what the best car is over a season

        1. Indeed pantherjag.

    3. Reckon needs a miracle for the miracle to happen, F1 is boring b’cos we are watching F1 thru the crystal glass instead of TV screen now days

  2. Argh I feel so bad for Bottas. He really deserved this win, and deserves a win this year (after China/Baku)… Maybe if Hamilton has won the title by Abu Dhabi, if they’re 1-2 they can give it to Valtteri… Like I can understand to an extent, as if Vettel went and won the title by 1 point if they didn’t switch them, everyone would be saying they should’ve done, but at this stage, now Mercedes looks to be faster again, and 3/5 of the remaining tracks (Japan/USA/Abu Dhabi) are 3 tracks they’re dominant at, I don’t think 43 points vs 50 will make much of a difference. Bleurgh.
    Also, rip Renault like sheesh… They’ve been awful on the softer compounds for ages now but this is something else. Haas, Force India and even Sauber have looked decently quicker than them recently… Hopefully that doesn’t carry on into next year. Hulk even losing 7th in the championship… Car looks rubbish.

  3. Unnecessary team order.

    1. Bottas’ slow pace nearly cost Mercedes 2nd position and valuable Constructors points.
      The extra effort by Hamilton to retake 2nd, cost his tires.

      Sure the two Mercedes drivers could have battled each other for the position, which as best would had compromised both their tires, and given Vettel a chance of executing the under-cut.

      No, this way Mercedes increases their lead, which means a better chance of engineering a Bottas win later on.

      Another way to see this race, is Lewis was the perfect driver to start in 2nd place. If Bottas had started in 2nd, there’s every chance Vettel would have taken him at the start.

      1. Bottas made a good start this year, and he made a great start last year. I would argue that Bottas did the job to give Lewis the slipstream to recover from his ok start. Bottas in front at the start was crucial.

        His pace left Lewis vulnerable as the race progressed, however. Had Lewis been in front there would have been more space for the Mercedes to build the gap we began to see after the team orders.

        1. I think Bottas was simply trying to protect the inside line and inadvertently have Hamilton a tow.

      2. “slow” bottas got fastest lap and also kept within a consistent distance of Hamilton once he let him past. Hamilton may have been driving closer to Bottas first of all, but again it was a consistent gap, like Bottas was behind Hamilton. We just can’t confirm who was quicker. All we know is that Bottas got pole, fastest lap and would have almost certainly won the race without team orders.

        1. @GuffDamm, yeah Hamilton did benifit from the Bottas slip stream at the start, and Im sure that move was discussed, and Hamilton was perhaps the better driver to make that move happen. Its hard to imagine if Bottas had started 2nd, that Vettel would not have over-taken him.

          @Ben, sure the gaps to the car ahead were consistant, as dictated by the track. Its the ‘pace’ of the car in front which is in question. Had Bottas taken that pace out, Vettel would not have had the chance to under-cut Lewis. Mercedes clearly had the faster package for that track.

          All said, we at least got to see Hamilton over take Vettel. The chances are, had there been no team orders, Hamilton would have found a way to do the same against Bottas, this however would have lead to a lot uncessary defensive driving, which would have cost both their tires.

          This sport is also about strategy.

          1. Come dont be ridiculous by telling the true pic, you will hurt the feelings of tifosi…

        2. @Ben Rowe, and he also kept Vettel behind without a single chance for overtake. I’m rather sure Hamilton would have been able to do it too.

          The biggest problem with F1 is that it tries to be an individual sport as well as a team sport. This takes place only in motorsport. And it will never work, as drivers’ championship is (naturally) decided by the teams too.

  4. Bottas is really truly wingman. I don’t understand Mercedes approach to win championship. From last couple of races you can clearly see Mercedes pulled some advantage to Ferrari. They have a car to win gp and also hamilton can do on its own then why sacrifice Bottas occasional victory for god sake some points and it’s still early if this was last grand prix then i understood but still some races remaining. Pathetic from Mercedes Toto and also Lewis to steal deserved victory of Bottas. Bottas got pole started race easily without any problem leading front pack after 1st round of pit stop despite all that he got 2nd. You have really feel for Bottas. In starting races of season he got some bad luck and now total public humiliation.

    1. how is it Lewis’ fault?

    2. I don’t really she with the results to much but Bottas has had bad luck this year and then rest of the time has mostly been not at Hamilton’s pace. It would have been nice for him to win this race, but Mercedes have made so many mistakes this year that they are forced to be too cautious regarding winning both championships. The way Ferrari was hanging on to their tails made sure the had to take the safe route. How can we be sure Ferrari won’t put Leclerc in the second Ferrari for the last 5 races and then they start getting 1-2s

    3. Toto has taken the shine of Hamilton’s recent work to get ahead of Vettel. Poor poor decision. Bottas should have won this race.

    4. I agree to everything said here but I would rather be in Bottas’ position than for example Alonso! He still drives the best car on the grid, gets occasional pole, always fighting for podiums! He has been chosen over Ricciardo, Ocon, Verstappen to hold that Merc seat! Imagine him still lingering at the back driving that Williams! If I were Bottas, I wouldn’t complain since I am not fighting for the championship at all! Just a thought! :)

  5. Or assess his mistakes and prepare for next year. He should learn to know when to make a move and when to tuck behind…

  6. Disgraceful day for the sport. It’s Austria all over again. F1 won’t learn. :/

  7. Calling it now, Bottas to ignore team orders next year, win the championship and leave F1, making way for Ocon to Mercedes 2020 😉

    1. Utter nonsense.
      C.Leclerc will humiliate Vettel to take the crown and Stroll will buy/join Red Bull on the family road to glory!

      1. Is he going to be allowed to humiliate Vettel though

    2. Calling It now, Maldona to return to williams, partnered by Olivier Panis and win theDrivers and Construtors chsmpionship.

      Also Dan Kyvyat be sacked fron Toro Rosso and win Indicar

  8. Disgraceful day for the sport. It’s Austria all over again. F1 won’t learn. :/

    1. You prefer coded orders?

      “Lewis is faster than you.”

      1. Coded orders can apply when team is trailing in championship not leading. I hope you understood difference. By the way i am against any team orders whether it’s open or encrypted.

        1. Team orders can do, and will come whenever the team manager desires… and that’s F1 – always has been and probably always will be…
          In my view, for what it’s worth, it’s Toto who’s at fault in trying to be ‘nice’, which is not the same thing as ‘good’, ‘right’ or ‘fair’, in trying to placate BOT…
          BOT joined last year as No.2 and, while Lewis is able to perform satisfactorily always will be. If BOT is ever able to continually out-qualify and out-race HAM he will probably have team orders in his favour… But taking Pole does not automatically grace a No.2 driver the win.
          This works for all teams – always has and probably always will… That’s motor-racing…

      2. I understand team orders have been around since the beginning of F1, but times have changed and the sport needs to adapt. It isn’t ok anymore in times where we’ve witnessed so many scandals in so many different sports and fields in our society.

        I can’t ser Liberty feeling okay about Hamilton calling Bottas to switch trophies and move to the highest step on tge podium, doing a Schumacher- Barrichello all over again.

        F1 loses fans every time such things happen. I live in Brazil and I’ve witnessed those who kept on watching after Senna’s death quit on teo occasions : half after Austria 2002, the rest after Germany 2010. No one likes what you might label as “ unsportsmanship” or “unfairness”, and Bottas ending up in second today represents everything that’s wrong about this sport.

        We’re not in in the 90s anymore, or in the 50s when a driver would give up his seat to another in the middle of a race. These things aren’t okay anymore.

        Most die hard fans won’t see ir clearly for they are too blind to see, but without appealing to the young generations, F1 is doomed. The Stroll- Ocon thing and now this don’t help improving F1’s image, on the contrary. It makes the sport look ridiculous, elitist, unfair and, unfortunately, rigged.

        Maybe, instead of having three cars per team we should move to a single one. And please, don’t get me started on cyclism…

        That’s how I see days like today. Best.

        1. “… but times have changed and the sport needs to adapt.:
          True, the world has become more cynical, more self-righteous, more selfish, more poorly educated, more politically biased, etc…
          Do you really think any sport needs to change to match this…?

          “… when a driver would give up his seat to another in the middle of a race. These things aren’t okay anymore.”
          I concede it would be impractical, and is probably banned… but they might still be ‘OK’…

          You make statements but don’t give explanations or evidence… so it’s just your opinion…

          My opinion, if you’re interested in a discussion, is that if F1 has to emulate computer simulation games, to appeal to the young then F1 will die even more quickly, owing to the limited attention span of the average adolescent.

          But I don’t expect Liberty to follow my desires… any more than you should expect everything to change to match yours… Just a thought… ;)

    2. Disgraceful day for the sport.

      So true. Also, how does Merc see moves like this as a PR win..? Everyone there seemed either embarrassed or frustrated. Well, Vettel seemed to have fun teasing Bottas though…

    3. It is hardly a SCHUMACHER BARICHELLO, Austria situation. Far, far from it. Not the way anyone wants to see a race win achieved, Lewis included but what’s he meant to do? Say no thanks.
      I feel it was unnecessary from Merc to make the call as even if VET had got 2nd, which was highly unlikely, it would’ve been 3 points lost but a race ticked off on the countdown to the championship. Still…I’ll take it. No 5 almost in the bag.

    4. It’s a team sport. If you don’t want to watch a team sport, why are you watching F1?

  9. I wonder if Vettel could have reovertaken Hamilton had he remained behind Bottas. However, I can see Bottas losing that seat next year. Besides his first half of the season, he has been almost nowhere in comparison to Hamilton. It does not matter that Hamilton is one of the greats, Ocon and other drivers want that seat.

    1. @krichelle What a ridiculous thibg to say. BOT was the faster Merc driver throughout the weekend and it wasn’t the first tine that has happened. Perez isn’t a comparable milestone by any means. Ocon couldn’t stay anywhere near Hamilton’s pace, but without rotten luck Bottas would still be in championship hunt.

      1. No. Bottas was only faster on Q3. Lewis was faster in all the practice sessions (with the exception of P1 where Vettel was faster).

        1. @kbdavies Since when FP times have mattered? Is it a new rule I’m not familiar with?

          1. How old are you…?

      2. Fudge Kobayashi (@)
        1st October 2018, 16:13

        BOT was the faster Merc driver throughout the weekend and it wasn’t the first tine that has happened.

        Yes, THIS RACE. Over a season he is nowhere near Lewis and is constantly 3-4tenths behind. Let me guess, you’re Finnish?

  10. Vettel was almost on the Merc’s pace, sure when they needed it felt they had something extra. But this was the first time they run with the soft tyre, I wonder what could happen if they brought an extra set of them and actually did some work with them in free practice, surely that wouldn’t hurt right? They are putting themselves at a disadvantage from the start, making their drivers race with mileage in those sets of rubber.

    And McLaren, are they regreting signing Sainz already or do they need to see him off the pace a few more times?

    Nico we miss you btw

    1. Sainz had a massive amount of damage on the left side of his car (not sure from what, 1st corners?), which probably explains why he wasn’t anywhere in the race @johnmilk

  11. Nico we miss you btw

    @johnmilk – yeah, and my respect for him has gone up a notch as well, he wasn’t this kind of a pushover.

    1. Rosberg had the pace to argue why he shouldn’t. He was always close enough in the points, with no other team to bother the intra-team battle. I also have looked as Rosberg’s ability more favorably after seeing Bottas next to Lewis. Rosberg was better than we all gave him credit for, and he fought like a dog for everything he got while at Mercedes.

      1. He didn’t argue in Monaco 2016

        1. Wasn’t fighting for the win either on that occasion.

  12. I dobt know why Bottas is surprised or annoyed about it now. Mercedes have made it clear to him he’s clearly the no. 2 driver (Toto even let it slip once). Its what his job is and what he’s being paid to do. If he doesnt like it he can move on and Merc can get someone else in to be rear gunner / wingman.

    1. There is a subtle difference between being a slave and being treated like a slave.
      No need to rub the guys face in it.

      1. Then Bottas needs to stop acting like one and grow some balls like Rosberg did. He has to look in the mirror and ask some serious questions about himself. You dont win races by letting people past (even team-mates). Its harsh but true.

      2. I agree… All Toto has to say is: “Valteri, you’re here as No.2…”
        No further discussion needed.

  13. Can we have some discussion about team orders? Did F1 re-allow team orders because they couldn’t police it? Because I think it’s pretty obvious if a team order is given, e.g. driver A slows down on a straight to let driver B past while losing as little time as possible. F1 should ban team orders again and come up with a process for determining within a reasonable amount of doubt whether team orders were used. I think teams should have constructors’ points removed if found to have used team orders because fans want to see deserving drivers earn their spots, and it’s not good for the sport if the (admittedly pragmatic) teams interfere with this.

    Can anyone see any reason not to do this? I can’t see teams giving their drivers a code to get them to lock up or make a “mistake” in order to let their teammate through without detection so why are team orders allowed today?

    1. F1 is a TEAM SPORT. That means there are lots of people involved in it, not just the drivers.
      A team will do what is good for the team, not one small part of the team. Team orders are allowed because F1 is a team sport. And to answer another commenter, long distance foot races and cycling use team orders and sacrifice members to get the desired results. In football other players set up goals for the striker. That is the nature of team sports.

  14. Hamilton made it work, embarassing by Vettel to lose position when he had warmer tyres than Hamilton. It should be 37 points instead of 50

    1. For all the fuss about the team order, that’s a point that’s gone missing. How did Vettel lose that place so easily? At minimum it was a 13 point swing to Hamilton. Or maybe it showed just how much drivers are constrained by tyre wear issues. Losing out in the pit stops, Hamilton decided to grab back the position, which he did extremely quickly. Only (according to Mercedes) at the cost of his tyres. So basically, even though they were exaggerating about how damaged the tyres were, we don’t see more of the same kind of hard racing because of the horrendous tyre compounds.

  15. Could someone explain the difference between “Fernando is faster than you” and this?

    Ferrari were crucified for that. Ferrari were behind in the championship when they did that.

    Mercedes did this while Hamilton was a $1.10 favourite for the championship.

    When Barrichello moved over for Schumacher, I don’t think Schumacher was a $1.10 favourite for the championship.

    1. Only difference is that team orders were against the rules in 2010 while now there not.

      1. They weren’t against the rules in 2002 when Barrichello moved over for Schumacher (Barrichello only moved over twice for Schumacher by my count).

        Schumacher was not a $1.10 favourite for the title when Barrichello moved over him.

        Hamilton was a $1.10 favourite for the championship today.

        I think the media and anti-Schumacher brigade owe Ferrari and Schumacher a massive apology for something that is still brought up to this day in order to diminish Schumacher’s success.

        1. I think the problem many had in 2002 (I was actually fine with it) was more the way they did it & how many deemed it as unnecessary given the advantage they had & how early in the season it was.

          1. Exactly.

            That was early in the season where Schumacher had a 21 point lead. Schumacher was not a $1.10 favourite for the championship.

            This is late in the season where Hamilton was a $1.10 favourite and held a 40 point lead.

            Obviously easier for the opposition to make up lost ground early in the season than late in the season.

            This is far worse than Austria 2002.

          2. Anon, most fans think it’s worse that team orders are imposed early in the season because it indicates that the number 2 driver never was allowed a chance to win. When a team only imposes orders late in the season, then the argument is that it would have gone the other way had the number 2 driver been in the lead position. At least then people can say that the driver earned his number 1 position by scoring more points over the first part of the season.

          3. most fans *that I know

          4. It’s different situation though. Having 2 DNF buffer (they still use the 10 point for winner system back then) only in the 5th race shows how dominant Ferrari was. In addition, the season is still long so it’s not the time for team order yet. Compared to current situation where Hamilton is under 2 DNF buffer and Ferrari is has better or at least equal car with the season coming to the end with 5 races left. 2002 situation is more similar if in 2015 Rosberg given team order to let Hamilton win with all the superiority Mercedes enjoyed over the rest of the field.

          5. Hamilton went into this race a 10/1 on favourite for the championship with a 40 point lead.

            This is far worse. There was no need for it. Mercedes are virtually assured of both championships.

            Austria 2002 was early in the season, Barrichello wasn’t in contention for the championship (Schumacher had a 38 point advantage over him), Schumacher had a 21 point lead in the championship over Montoya (Hamilton had a 40 point lead late in the season), Ferrari had missed out by the skin of their teeth in ’97, ’98, ’99.

            Today was far worse than Austria 2002. It was embarrassing and pathetic.

          6. It was 10-6-4-3-2-1 back then and cars had worse reliability.

            A 21 point lead early in the season didn’t mean anything.

            Schumacher would not have been a $1.10 favourite for the championship in mid-May with a 21 point championship lead.

            Hamilton went into this late season race as a $1.10 favourite in the clear best car with a 40 point lead in the championship.

            Maybe some of you are bad at maths. Moving over Bottas today was far less necessary than moving over Barrichello in Austria 2002.

            People owe Ferrari and Schumahcer a massive apology. Today was much worse.

          7. @anon
            did you know that barrichello refused to move for schumi twice , and third time, they threatened him do you think it was nice?

            “”It was eight laps of war,” he is quoted by Brazil’s Globo.

            “It’s very rare that I lose my temper, but I was screaming on the radio. I kept going right to the end, saying I would not let him pass.
            Here are the words from Barrichello after he left F1 for good:

            “That’s when they said something about something much broader. It was not about the contract.
            “I cannot tell you what they said, but it was a form of threat that made me think about re-thinking my life, because the great joy for me was driving,” said the 39-year-old.”

          8. @anon
            did you know that barrichello refused to move for schumi twice , and third time, they threatened him do you think it was nice?

            “”It was eight laps of war,” he is quoted by Brazil’s Globo.

            “It’s very rare that I lose my temper, but I was screaming on the radio. I kept going right to the end, saying I would not let him pass.
            Here are the words from Barrichello after he left F1 for good:

            “That’s when they said something about something much broader. It was not about the contract.
            “I cannot tell you what they said, but it was a form of threat that made me think about re-thinking my life, because the great joy for me was driving,” said the 39-year-old.”

            So what.

            No different to what Mercedes ordered Bottas to do today except there was far less need to have Bottas move over because Hammy was $1.10 favourite for the championship before the race.

            If you’re filthy Austria 2002 you should be even more disgusted by the events of Russia 2018.

          9. Anon..if you had the minerals to to go by something other than anon then your views may hold a bit more weight, not much but a bit more. In this instance it wouldn’t matter though as today was nothing like Austria.
            Schumacher is nothing like Lewis either. Lewis pushes the boundaries of the rules but very rarely exceeds them. For schumacher exceeding the rules was par for the course. At least lewis acted with some dignity today. Something ive rarely seen from Schumacher.

          10. anon, I am truly embarrassed for you and your comments on this matter.

          11. To the anon earlier in this thread – as others have noted, you seem to have rather misunderstood how exactly the scoring system worked in 2002. You do realise, don’t you, that the current points system came in many years later and that not correcting for that makes it look as if you are deliberately trying to mislead people.

            Back in 2002, given that the points system was 10-6-4-3-2-1, the 21 point lead which Schumacher held at the time of the Austrian GP was the equivalent of being two race victories and a sixth place clear. Under the current points system it would be equivalent to having a 58 point lead – nearly 50% larger than the lead which Hamilton had going into this race, and still larger than the lead Hamilton has even after that race.

            You might say that Hamilton was 1.1 to 1 going into this race, but going into the Austrian GP the odds on Schumacher winning the 2002 WDC were already less than 1 to 1 – everybody was so certain that Schumacher was going to win that it was, quite literally, worthless betting on him.

            There was a good reason why it caused such outrage at the time, which was the fact that people were asking the simple question of when, not if, Schumacher would take the title – which, as it happens, was at the French GP, making it the shortest amount of time ever required to win the WDC, whilst ending the season with one of the largest ever winning margins (67 points, equivalent today to 176 points).

            The only driver to have got remotely close to that sort of dominance was Vettel in 2013, and even he had a smaller lead at the end of the season (155 points) than Schumacher managed in 2002 – he was dominant in a way that I think you really are failing to comprehend.

          12. The odds of Hammy winning the title before the race today was not 1.1 to 1.

            But $1.10. He was 10 to 1 ON.

            You make $10 for every $100 you put on.

            Yet Mercedes still stole the win from Bottas.

            Schumacher would not have been 10 to 1 on for the championship going into a race in mid-May.

        2. @anon your bias is showing. I don’t like what happened today but Austria 2002 was far worse considering Ferrari were utterly dominant and had no competition, making it unnecessary (whereas Hamilton arguably could still be caught by a car that has clearly been faster in more races than not this year). Austria also happened early in the season with the swap coming on the last lap.

          I’ll also say that not having an account and posting as “anon” makes me not have any time for your comments, assuming that all posts are actually by the same person. If you really believed what you were saying you’d post under a registered account. I’ll happily ignore any further posts until that changes.

          1. This Anon guy is a joke. what a biased guy.
            Austria 2002 was far worse than this. It happened in may, for God’s sake.

          2. All the more reason to use team orders if it’s early in the season. You can’t predict how other teams will develop their cars. Barrichello was sitting on 6 points.

            Hammy already had one hand on the title.

            In by far the best car, was ahead of Vettel on track, held a 40 point lead, cars these days are almost bulletproof in their reliability.

            It was disgraceful what Mercedes did to Bottas today.

    2. Team orders were banned then, but don’t mistake my explaination for endorsement of today, I was sure Lewis would ignore team orders and give the place back but here we are.

      1. Yes, they were banned in reaction to the hysteria of Austria 2002.

        But teams still used team orders by stealth.

        People weren’t upset that is was against the rules but on moral grounds.

        It’s different when it’s Hammy though.

        Let’s hope no-one pushes this narrative that Ferrari is faster.

        Mercedes has been the best team by far this season.

        1. I don’t care how stealthily you break the rules, if it’s a rule and you break it, it’s different to making a decision that the fans don’t like on moral grounds. Especially when the rule break is also disagreed with by the fans on moral grounds.

          The rest is blah blah blah – make your points to the person actually making the arguments that you are decrying.

          1. Fair enough.

            Ferrari didn’t break any rules at Austria 2002. They did nothing wrong. Schumacher was ahead 21 points in the championship. Hamilton was 40 points ahead in the championship.

            Many apologies are owed to Ferrari for Austria 2002.

          2. Ask the person who actually spends their time diminishing Schumakers success because that is not me. I don’t understand why you think I do. So no, I won’t apologise for something I didn’t do.

        2. “Mercedes has been the best team by far this season”…by far? You can thank Vettel for that idea in your head. Without silly Ferrari/Vettel mistakes, we would still be arguing Mercedes is being chased by Ferrari right now.

          1. Yep. There was a point this season where Ferrari truly had the better car. Up until Spa/Monza actually.

          2. Not at the start of the season.

            Vettel was winning because of Mercedes/Hammy blunders.

          3. Like the mistake in Hockenheim?
            Where he had to race against Raikkonen even though both were on different strategies and he easily lost 10 seconds that would have been valuable once the rain startet.
            Of course you can argue that he shouldnt have pushed in the single corner off almost all F1 circuits without a tarmac run off, but it was the team that needlessly put the pressure on him.

    3. Yes I can.

      At that time such orders were illegal

      Now they are not.
      Simples – just like when Ferrari do it!

    4. Also, timing. This is round 16 of 21. Germany 2010 was round 11 of 19. Austria 2002 was round 6 of 17. All too early to ask a driver to give up a win IMO, but we are closer to having a situation that justifies giving more points to one driver than was the case in 2010 or 2002.

      1. All the less reason to use team orders since Hammy is mathematically more certain of winning the championship than Alonso in 2010 and Schumacher 2002.

        He went into the race as a $1.10 favourite for the title. Neither Schumacher and Alonso were such certainties for the title in those seasons.

        Schumacher had a 21 point lead with 11 races remaining which is nothing.

        Hammy held a 40 point lead with 5 races remaining.

        I’ll let you figure out who is more certain of winning the championship.

        1. FlyingLobster27
          1st October 2018, 6:57

          So your ethos is “favour one driver early in the season then drop it when victory becomes likely”? That’s nonsense, you’ve got it backwards. Teams want to win championships, and seal them as soon as possible once someone is in a clear position to do so. Hamilton is arguably in that position, whereas, and you say this yourself, Schumacher was not.
          Explaining, not condoning.

    5. Anon… why do you keep repeating yourself…?
      It won’t win you the argument, and makes us readers feeling we are being bludgeoned to either agree with you or get out…
      Tranquilo… my friend.

    6. Well, it was the first chance Massa had of winning a race after nearly dying. I’d say that might have been a factor.

  16. Team orders are & have always been a part of the sport. I do not nor have I ever have any issue with them at all because I accept that fact.

    What I did have an issue with was when they tried to ban team orders which did nothing but lead to ridiculous situations where they still existed but just hidden behind code & pre-race agreements. That was a far bigger farce than the times such as today where it was an open & transparent order which as I say has been a part of the sport since day 1.

    1. The Brazilian commentary was precisely that, Mercedes could have ‘hidden’ the switch via the pit stop. However I well remember Raikkonen pulling over for Massa at China in 2008. Which is best or worse? Difficult to say. Being honest is good in some ways, however it definitely soured the race more than masking it would have.

    2. stefmeister – thanks for the straightforward explanation.

    3. Great comment … what a lot of people forget is that F1 is a team sport with the emphasis on “team” and when the 2nd driver in that team (and I don’t mean #2 or wingman) has no mathematical possibility of winning the WDC it is he duty as a team member to support the team in whatever way they ask.

      1. FlyingLobster27
        1st October 2018, 6:41

        Trouble is, Foggy, Bottas was still mathematically in contention on the day, and still is, albeit it’s a very long shot. This case is a lot like the 2015 WEC Fuji 6 Hours: at the 3/4 mark of the season, both cars are still theoretically capable of winning the title, and the rivals of the team in front we know already have no trouble using team orders. And let’s be clear: the 2015 Fuji 6 Hours severely dented my enthusiasm for the WEC, I didn’t listen to another race that year. It just becomes a waste of time waiting for the team orders to kick in in the last 15 minutes.

  17. Most embarrassing win by Hamilton this year..
    It seems Bottas was promised something else or at least he expected to get the win back.
    A very stupid story about a ( miniscule) blister on the right rear was the motivation for this demotion of the wingman to a driver assistant.

  18. For Mercedes and Wolff the switch made perfect sense in terms of the championships. For Hamilton and obviously Bottas less so. Likewise for their team image, for the race and for Formula 1. For me it ruined an otherwise better race than expected, thanks to Verstappen’s brilliance and the excellent overtake of Vettel by Hamilton. I think he could have come under pressure from Vettel stuck behind Bottas and even lost the position, but I’d have preferred to see that happen.

  19. Nice win for Hamilton, I hope they put a * in the column to mention its another he didn’t deserve.
    No wonder Danny Ric had no chance at either teams, neither want a driver that will actually challenge them……………..

    1. Don’t do that. We don’t have enough * for Schumacher’s/Vettel’s careers.

      1. Oh please, grow up both of you. This is the sort of comment section atmosphere that make people hesitate to engage.

        1. Ditto that…!

        2. @aliveandwell, I do agree that the sort of comments being thrown about by @garns and @gufdamm really are toxic, not to mention extremely hypocritical.

          If we were to put asterisks against the title winning drivers for that, then you would have to put them against a lot of drivers – for example, should we put an asterisk against Ayrton Senna for the way that he ordered Lotus to not let Dumfries compete with him, followed by ordering Lotus to put a weak driver in the form of Nakajima (who wouldn’t threaten his position), and by his own admission completely destroying the career of Derek Warwick in F1 by blocking Lotus from hiring him?

          Let’s be blunt, if you were to go down that route, I honestly wonder how many drivers you would be left with who didn’t have questions over them – you’d probably only be left with the handful of drivers who won the title mainly by accident, such as Hulme.

          1. Anon – you’re clearly very well-read on F1 history but your reputation as an impartial historian is damaged by your extreme opinions – and your apparent hatred for Hamilton. I’m not saying this disliking is wrong, just that it conflicts with your other role.
            Using your historical knowledge, which most of today’s fans won’t know, or even care about isn’t necessarily the best way to support your passionate views.
            If I might be allowed an observation your historical contributions here would be more valuable if more objective… and if your more personal views were supported by something more tangible than references to the past…
            I would be interested to read, for example, an article about Senna’s attitudes to team-mates but I’m not as concerned about how this impacts on Toto’s behaviour yesterday… or Hulme’s Championship…
            Just a thought… Best wishes…

    2. Huh, merit a dubious social construct at best.

    3. Dave (@davewillisporter)
      30th September 2018, 18:07

      Honest question. I don’t like team orders and am a bit deflated after this race but I thought most if not all Hamilton’s wins had been genuine. I am struggling to recall when Hamilton was handed the win by team orders. I can remember Monaco 2016 when Nico was nowhere in the rain and ceded position but on any other track Hamilton would have sailed by so not so bad in my books. Maybe Germany 2018 when Bottas was told to maintain position but that’s speculative as Hamilton has proved he is a fierce defender and it’s doubtful Bottas would have got past. I can remember Brawn ordering Rosberg to maintain position in 2013 too but that wasn’t for a win.
      Any others I have missed?

    4. Well Rosberg challenged Hamilton pretty well didn’t he?

  20. I’m rooting for Lewis to win the title, but that just felt utterly hollow. I doubt Lewis himself would have been disappointed to finish 2nd behind Bottas.

    I can understand the decision to make the switch at the time, as Vettel was gaining ground while the Mercs were stuck behind Verstappen, but they had just enough in hand at the end to switch back and should have done so.

    Merc may win both titles this year, but their reputation has no doubt taken a hit. I hope with the lead Lewis has, there will be no more team orders for the remaining races, if Lewis can’t lead it home from here….

    1. I agree! I totally understand the switch from a championship viewpoint, but I think it hits them morally because they’ve always had the aura of it being “beneath them”, I reckon. True or false, it’s the impression I’ve gotten. Maybe that’s why they were almost mourning the victory..

  21. “I hate team orders,” he admitted, “we owe it to the fans to let them race but if every race ends up in a collision between team-mates, it’s not what we want.”
    However, it’s not just race fans who shudder at the thought of team orders, so too does Hamilton.
    “I want to race,” he said, according to “I grew up wanting to race. I wanted to get to F1, race the best and be the best, by out-driving another individual.
    “They showed a replay of Michael and Barrichello many years ago,” he continued, referring to the infamous incident in 2002 – ironically at this very same circuit, when the Brazilian capitulated to his teammate on the run to the line, provoking fury among fans and the sport’s powers-that-be, “and I was disappointed as a fan back then.

    1. And what, you think he looked happy? There’s an automatic assumption that he’d be secretly pleased to get past and get the win. I don’t think that’s actually the case. He has to accept the team logic as much as Bottas. Sure it’s a lot easier than for the latter. I guess he could have tried giving the place back of his own accord. But not only would that have been risky given Vettel was close, undoubtedly both he and Bottas would have come under heavy flak from Mercedes and Wolff for doing so. I think Mercedes should have let the race unfold but the team’s there to win and there’s no denying they made the correct decision for their purposes.

      1. No-one force Hammy to move past Bottas.

        He could have got on the radio and told Mercedes that I don’t want to win via team orders.

        Bottas was forbidden from challenging Hammy in Hockenheim. Hammy should have had a word to Toto after that race telling them that he doesn’t want to win in that manner ever again. Numerous times Bottas has had his race sabotaged in order to make him Hammy’s reargunner. Hammy could have told management that he doesn’t need Bottas to be his rear gunner.

        Many people owe Ferrari and Schumacher an apology for Austria 2002.

        1. But 2 wrongs doesn’t make 1 right

        2. He could have got on the radio and told Mercedes that I don’t want to win via team orders.

          He did, so calm down.

      2. I can’t blame him for not giving it back. He is an employee. He can’t decide this things on his own. Imagine if Vettel somehow overtakes him because of it?

        But i think he should have asked the team what to do about it with some three or four laps remaining because he knew very well why he was ahead at that point.

        1. All Hammy has to say is I don’t ever want to be handed wins ever again via team orders.

          All throughout the year Bottas has been used as Hammy’s rear gunner, Hockenheim Bottas was forbidden to pass Hamilton despite being quicker, team orders issued today.

          Stop painting Hammy as someone who didn’t want to be handed the win today.

          Schumacher was widely vilified for Austria 2002 despite letting Barrichello stand on the winner’s step of the podium, despite handing him the winner’s trophy.

          1. Anon, you clearly have a chip on your shoulder about Austria 2002 – but you seem to want it both ways, you seem to want Hamilton treated the same as you imagine Schumaker is, but you also want people to apologise for treating Schumaker badly, even though they don’t.

            Choose one, otherwise how can we respect you:

            Either everyone here apologises to Schumaker, which I’m sure will never be read by any of the family, and will boil down to us apologising to _you_ for making _you_ feel bad for supporting someone who did something you think is bad (though none of us are actually making you feel bad about it)


            Everyone here piles on Hamilton, but also pile on Schumaker in the same way – making a reality of your imagined fears, and condemning any driver who takes team orders to be vilified for decades over it.

            I have a third idea.

            You are clearly deeply affected by Austria 2002 – that’s sixteen years of mental anguish chewing you up inside. No-one here is criticising Schumaker for that race, if we did, we forgot about it in time for FP 1 the next week. The only person still criticising Schumaker for Austria 2002 is you. What I’m going to say may be quite new to you, but it’s Ok to support a driver who isn’t a paradigm of virtue… it’s sport. It’s fun. That’s all it’s supposed to be. Fun. It’s OK to support Schumaker after he betrayed you. Let it go… let it go. Clearly your fandom has slipped into fanaticism, it’s possible that after 16 years you might need some acceptance and committent therapy. Clear your head, stop caring so much about what other people think of the drivers you like and maybe you’ll find that you don’t have to be anon on the site anymore, because maybe when you are happy and confident with the drivers you like, when you don’t dislike yourself for liking them, maybe, just maybe you will start to earn the respect of the people here that you crave so much.

            Or just keep doing what you’re doing. Incidently, IBM have some fantastic technology that looks at all sorts of publicly available information and matches any username to an identity. VPN’s don’t stop it, and it works frightenly well. When your kids or their kids are old enough, they will be able to access this on a whim. Do you want them to see _this_ mess and know their dad was this person? Or would you like them to see a more balanced, sane, sober and respectable personality?

          2. All throughout the year Bottas has been used as Hammy’s rear gunner, Hockenheim Bottas was forbidden to pass Hamilton despite being quicker, team orders issued today.

            All throughout the season is 2 races? In Hockenheim Bottas was allowed to attack from the safety car while he had the benefit of fresher tyres that would come up to temperature more quickly. He didn’t get passed. Regardless of the team orders that followed he had already missed his chance to overtake, Hamilton had the better race pace and his tyres were switched on again.

            Your comments are getting increasingly laughable it’s borderline pathetic mate.

        2. @Ed He could have asked on the radio, but it’d be a bit fake, he already knew the answer. Stay put. The fact is Wolff always gets ‘nervous’ about these situations and once he’d pulled the trigger (pressed the radio button) the decision was made. Same happened earlier when he didn’t want Hamilton and Bottas to race after a restart and then quickly ordered them to hold station after the first few corners. My guess is that Bottas was told he could race for the win unless Hamilton’s position to Vettel came under threat, and that was what he thought was happening. To be honest, probably correct. Vettel would have attacked had it been Hamilton stuck behind Bottas.

  22. Feeling bad for Bottas today. Great performance all weekend, losing due to team orders, Barrichello 2.0. Good for Merc though in both championships.

  23. If you love top drivers battling it out on the circuit then F1 isn’t for you.

    Today proved it for me.
    Red Bull start at the back and still finish where they mostly finish (even going three quarter distance with a broken front wing).
    A truly gifted driver puts a mediocre car high in the points but misses out on “Driver of the Day”
    One of the finest drivers in racing just putters around at the back dreaming of his new job next year as a racing driver.

    I love the complexity of F1 but it’s not about the drivers, it’s about the team … the show … the money :(

    I love the complexity of F1 but it isn’t pure racing.

    1. F1 is as much about racing as it is about tactics, strategy and logistics. Honestly, to follow the sport properly, we need to be able to follow the inside of the factories too, watch them racing to get a new wing design to an earlier circuit than their rivals, watch the designers live coming up with this stuff.

      It will never happen, but often that’s where the race begins!

      1. How about a new show – “FormulaReal1ty”

        We get follow the process from sketches to mock up to wind tunnel to … back of the grid! LOL

        Adrian Newey and Flavio Briatore could host it with a different guest each week!

        I’m blue skying here but run with it people! ;)

    2. Leclerc did a great job, but you can not deny the truly man of the race was Verstappen. His fast overtaking of the field and his 2/3 leading of the race was a great job. He deserved to be driver of the day.
      Looking at the way he crushed his very strong teammate on all points, he even deserves a driver of the weekend award.

      1. Max shone very brightly indeed – no argument there.

        I could argue that he had the car for the job and that his team-mate had a damaged car but even so he did a sterling job. Full respect to the birthday boy.

        L.Clerc however has an average car and has nothing to prove (his seat at Ferrari is booked) yet he still drove the pants off it.

        Max is so in love with himself he will always be the driver of the day.
        LeClerc gets it for me ;)

    3. I love the complexity of F1 but it’s not about the drivers, it’s about the team … the show … the money :(

      F1’s biggest fail is that it tries to be a team sport and individual sport at the same time. Can you imagine that anywhere else? It just doesn’t work, the drivers’ championship just ends up being just another team championship.

      F1 is not sport, it is marketing. Sadly.

      1. “F1’s biggest fail is that it tries to be a team sport and individual sport at the same time.”
        F1 has been doing it since 1950, so… I hardly think that constitutes a failure…

        But I agree with your last sentence… which I think has also been the case since 1950…

  24. When the post race festivities feel like a funeral of some sort you know it was a bad day for the goodof the sport.

  25. Just seen a snippet of the press interview with Lewis and even he seemed genuinely disappointed and slightly bemused by the team order.

    Certainly not much of a celebration on his part. Of course he won’t be too down when he wins the WDC, but even he seems aware he owes Bottas a favour or two.

    1. Indeed. We saw last year when he gave the place back to Bottas at Hungary that he doesn’t want to win like this. Maybe he should have gone on the radio to tell the team to let Bottas back through, too late now though.

  26. … Seriously, when a driver goes from the bottom of the grid to 6th place (behind four better cars and its teammate) despite a broken front wing AND the replacement of said front wing, it says a lot on the state of F1 right now. F1 and F1B in full effect.

    1. F1 has ALWAYS been like this. It is not a spec series.

      1. If somebody were to have seen the result of the race only, without knowing about qualifying, they would have assumed the Red Bulls started and finished where they normally do.

  27. Firstly, I don’t blame HAM. Evidently it’s part of F1 “racing”.

    Secondly, I don’t understand why it is so important to Merc for HAM to win the WDC. After all, isn’t the WCC the crown jewel and money maker for the manufacturer? Merc would have gotten maximum WCC points today so why not let BOT ahead at the end?

    F1 is a strange series. Many problems exist yet nothing seems to be done to correct them. The technology is great and the cars look awesome but I don’t see F1 as legitimate racing.

    1. If you don’t see the importance then you don’t understand advertising and the world we live in today. Very few news outlets will run news stories on the WCC Championship being wrapped up by a team. To the outside world, the WCC goes un-noticed. Hamilton winning his 5th WDC, on the other hand, will be top sports news ( and likely to be on the non-sport news too ) All of that is free advertising for Mercedes when the team is mentioned and shown in the news reports. Mercedes can also advertise with it themselves too, being the best in the world and having the best car is the double win.

      1. Hamiltons WDC’s are dropping in value, Mercedes’s WCC’s are close to worth nothing for them, if there is no interest in F1 any more. The fastest way to get there is getting the same results year after year. Robbing BOT today is from an advertising point of view a more than stupid thing. When Lewis becomes a 6 times WDC next year, you’ll see (or maybe not) less audience, and Mercedes won’t be respected for it, so they lose while winning.

        1. What on earth are you on about George ? You make no sense at all. Please can you try again as I honestly can’t understand your point.

          1. Right? I remember when Michael won his 6th title. It was all over the newspapers. Even with Austria 2002 and all.

            This guy doesn’t know what he is on about.

    2. We want all the wins, all the titles and all the trophies. That is how we work. That is how we win.

  28. Man, some of the comments on here are absurd. Toto’s priority is to deliver championships to Mercedes Benz AMG F1 and the Daimler board to justify their investment. This was predictable- as soon as qualy finished yesterday. Do I feel for BOT? Yes of course I do. But he isn’t the first team mate to be moved out of the way to aid a team mate’s title challenge. Massa did it for Kimi in 07 and Massa for Alonso numerous times.

    Had BOT had a better season he obviously wouldn’t be in this position. That said I wonder if Nico is looking at this situation and thinking “yep that could have been me”. Least we forget it already happened in Malaysia 2013. I don’t think Nico would have been in BOT’s position this early but on the balance of probability he could have been ordered to move aside at some point based on his history vs Lewis since karting.

    VET and Ferrari look beaten- whatever issues Merc had they have sorted it out. Unless things dramatically turn around both championships are over IMO.

    1. Tend to agree. It’s a bit like a substitution in some other sports, the players taken off can be intensely annoyed, but you know for the team the manager has taken the right decision. The only thing is he or she also has to take into account future player motivation and potential internal conflicts. I’m pretty sure Mercedes have this sorted, though. Wolff clearly doesn’t want a HAM-ROS rerun, even if it was more entertaining for those watching on.

    2. Well said.

    3. For the Daimler-board to be happy, the results of the team need to be there AND the sport needs to be popular. Winning an expensive sport without a fan-base has no value. If F1 loses, Mercedes loses while winning. For Mercedes the ROI is close to nothing today, and will be less next year. Being second in a heroic fight is better than winning in a boring way.

      1. The Daimler-board will be happy if they can advertise Championships – Constructors and/or Drivers. I imagine Ferrari (and Renault… and maybe Honda again, one day) is much the same.
        I rather doubt many F1 fans are buying Mercs. or Ferraris – the buyers are mostly people who for whatever reason are attracted to these marques, but who don’t give a damn about F1’s fan-base.

        From what I see on TV many of the grandstands (in F1, IndyCar, NASCAR etc) are about two-thirds empty, and TV viewing figures have been steadily dropping for years. I can see this won’t please us fans, nor Liberty… but I believe Ferrari and Merc sales have been rising during the same period. For them it IS all about winning – ‘…second in a heroic fight…’ isn’t even much admired in cricket any more… and I’m not saying any of this is a good thing. ;)

    4. Well, if we take a time we will remember that Mercedes asked Hamilton to move over in Hungary 2014 and 2016, and Abu Dhabi 2016.
      Did the same to Rosberg in Monaco 2016 too.

      It looked worse than it is cuz Bottas is still winless this season and performs better than Hamilton at that track. Vettel was under control and 43 points lead is still a very good gap.

      But they made their choice.

  29. I’m one of those ‘fan of the sport’ people so these days, I don’t often feel the dejection and dismay I used to back when I supported a favourite driver and their rival won.

    Just been reminded what that feeling is like.

    On the positive side, I guess there might be a chance for them to return the win to Bottas at some point in the next few races once the championship is done. But I still feel crap.

  30. Well, its not the way most people wanted the race to finish but what choice did Mercedes have ? In reality Bottas points mean nothing at this stage of the season as if he ends 3rd, 4th or 5th I doubt he’d care. The win being removed is what will hurt him most but I can fully understand why it was done. Those extra 7 points for Hamilton could be huge or might not matter, but if Mercedes are taking home the Maximum for the team then it makes perfect sense to gift Hamilton the additonal points where they actually have some use. Mercedes spend millions and employ hundreds of people to get every .1 second in performance so there’s no way they are going to give up gaining more points for their lead driver.

    It did get me thinking about the rules and if it would work to allow the team to split the points how they like as a bonus for a 1-2 finish. They’s have to split them as the current format so 25 to one driver and 18 to the other. At least that way Bottas could have held on to his win ( or be given it back at the end ) Maybe it would create more problems than it solves but if Bottas won and Hamilton got the extra points today would be far less sour.

    1. It’s not just about winning though, it’s also how you win. Austria 2002 is still in the memory for a reason. It’s not quite the same, but you can see how people will use Russia 2018 to undermine the extremely hard work the team has put in during the season. Hamilton has the WDC in the bag anyway, it’s not worth the extra small point haul.

  31. “Racefans”, yeah..

    I pay to see racing on TV and this is what I get. Shame on you Toto. Shame on you Merc. Shame on you Liberty Media. This is not what people want to see.

  32. Some great midfield battles in this race and this year. But overall one of the dullest last halves of a championship for years.

    Vettel/Ferrari have lost it, more than Hamilton has won it. The only serious competition he had was Vettel – now all he has to do is beat Bottas – and that isn’t allowed to happen organically.

    Not Lewis’s fault but there has been no real challenge to him. Does make you realise how much Rosberg was underestimated.

  33. A few races ago Max pushes a car close to the edge to block and gets a penalty. Ham pushes Vettel off the track and gets nothing, not even a ( dis) honorable mention.

    I just wish Ham could win the WDC without playing dirty.

    1. they all play dirty – just some are more gifted at it than others.

  34. Here is a theory.

    I see a lot of people saying that it was unnecessary because with 2nd Lewis would still be 43 points ahead of Seb in the championship rather than the 50 that he is now…. It was mentioned on Sky & I believe Toto Wolff also brought it up post race that with a 50 points gap Lewis has the buffer to be able to afford 2 DNF’s & still hold the lead & that got me thinking.

    Ted has mentioned several times over the weekend that he’d noticed Mercedes needing to clean up oil off the rear crash structure which looked to be coming from the exhaust, They were doing it through practice/qualifying & on the grid pre-race… There also not having to do it on Bottas’ car.

    What if they know there’s an issue on Hamilton’s engine, Turbo or something which they can’t fix & they know there is an above average risk of failure or they know there going to have to take a penalty in one of the remaining races. That would explain why those extra 7 points were so important & why they were talking about things been complicated after the race.

    Just a theory I thought i’d throw out there.

    1. @stefmeister Nice spot. It’s not as though Hamilton hasn’t lost championships to reliability issues (and DNFs) before. Losing this year to Ferrari because of one would be painful. To be honest, Wolff has probably called a blinder on this decision today, taking heavy criticism but could well prove a critical decision by the end of the season.

    2. Montréalais (@)
      30th September 2018, 20:40

      Hmmm. You have a devious mind @stefmeister! I like it! Seriously though, has Ted (or any other journalist) followed up on his observation? Is there something in this?

    3. During qually, I saw a puff of smoke from Ham that didnt look normal. Me think, el turbo is going. I wont be surprised if Ham takes a new something next race.

  35. Hamilton has had a lot of pride in not having a win gifted to him. Post race his emotions were stired, mixed and shaken.

    I wonder what the inter-team fallout will be like?

    As for my POV, Hamilton is now like Schumacher. There, he races dirty, wins at all cost and is good at it. Very good at it.

    With a team now crossing another gap to a full on #1 driver status. While Ferrari is flailing around with their quasi fairness, free to race, noone is #1 attitude Mercedes will just stump them.

    What can we expect then Lewis 92th win in next 3 seasons and 7 titles?

    Ferrari for once were great on strategy. To bad their #2 car was nowhere. Overall good job. Second place was possible but Hamilton had enough mojo to take it from them.

    1. Hamilton can be very aggressive at times, but he’s no Schumacher. I can never imagine him parking at Rascasse like 2006 for example, or driving into rivals…. ok maybe backing into them, but not driving into them :)

      1. He hardly ever needs to. He simply just out drives his rivals on shear pace.

  36. What Toto Wolff did to Bottas is absolutely disgusting…

  37. The WDC once again leaves a sour note to the last part of the season. And this year we still have 5 races to go. I mean, I’ll still watch the race on Sunday because it’s F1, but the rest of the weekend is just meaningless fluff. If the fastest isn’t allowed to go for the win, why bother.

    It’s not racing if it’s not decided on track.

    And as long as the money makes the decisions, we’re stuck with whatever this is.
    Yes, it’s been like this for a while now, no I don’t have answers to how to change it but I’m just not happy with the status quo. And that makes me feel sad.

    1. Well said.

      I’m afraid the only working solution would be to give up the drivers’ championship. If it is a team sport, as many here have pointed out, and there are (or shouldn’t be) no individuals in a true team. You don’t see individual championship awards in football, do you?

      Another, maybe even better way would be to award the drivers’ title to both drivers of the winning team, as they are expected to work as a team anyway. This would end the need for race rigging and it would be fair to the drivers too. We would still have the occasional “maintain position” team order but in the end it wouldn’t matter so much.

  38. ”Lewis, Valteri is faster than you… but we’ll make sure you’ll win!”

  39. Adub Smallblock
    1st October 2018, 1:37

    Mercedes is spending how much this year? $400 million? Mechanical failures, stupid crashes at the start, all still possible. Yes, 43 points is a great lead, but simply put, 50 points is better. I would not want to be in Mercedes shoes reporting to their stockholders that they lost one of the championships because they were being “fair” to Bottas, who has no chance at the championship. A championship (both Drivers and Constructors) that is the sole measure to those stockholders that it was money well spent.

  40. So many of these comments are ridiculous with people saying bad day for the sport etc, total nonsense. Like everyone here of course it would have been great to see Bottas win but even before the race Wolff had said he was considering team orders and he did exactly that. Even Vettel said it was a no brainer. If Bottas had that win and Hamilton and a DNF and a few p3 and p4s then the title could be lost. It would be stupid to let someone 100 points behind to take points off his championship leading teammate. F1 has always been like this, I have no idea why people find it so weird.

    1. “F1 has always been like this, I have no idea why people find it so weird.”

      I think people find it weird because the words “drivers’ championship” makes them think the champion has earned the title by him/herself, not with the help of a good “wingman”. The rules need a radical overhaul before F1 can achieve greater popularity. People coming from other sports will not necessarily understand that you can win an individual championship by points gifted by another driver.

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