Lewis Hamilton, Sebastian Vettel, Sochi Autodrom, 2018

Hamilton surprised Ferrari haven’t used team orders more often

2018 Japanese Grand Prix

Posted on

| Written by and

Lewis Hamilton says he is surprised Ferrari have missed opportunities to use their drivers tactically in races this year.

Mercedes faced criticism after the Russian Grand Prix when Valtteri Bottas as ordered to let Hamilton to through, which ultimately handed victory to the championship leader.

Both teams have also used their drivers tactically at different stages in the season. However Ferrari haven’t always done so.

In Germany Sebastian Vettel, who has been Ferrari’s leading driver in the championship all year, complained for several laps about being stuck behind Kimi Raikkonen in the race. At Monza, Raikkonen out-qualified Vettel by running in his slipstream, and the pair were unable to prevent Hamilton passing Vettel at the start.

Hamilton stressed Mercedes have “only had team orders in that one race” but said “we’ve worked as a team in others.”

“There have been times when Valtteri’s not, for example, been in the top five and there’s been me and the Ferraris, and the Ferraris have worked together.

“The way they do that is they’ll stop one car which means then I’ll have to stop. So they have worked as a team in certain parts of the year but in crucial points like Monza, they haven’t.

“Is that a surprise? Yeah I think they’ve done that in the past. Why they’ve changed I don’t know.”

Vettel was unwilling to elaborate on the reasons behind Ferrari’s decision not to use their drivers tactically in some races when asked during today’s FIA press conference.

“Generally, I think it is a sensitive topic or subject, obviously for the reasons that we have seen after last weekend,” he said.

“I don’t think we have been in the same position as they have, probably, during the race, so I think it is more a question for the team and not for me.”

Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free

2018 F1 season

Browse all 2018 F1 season articles

Author information

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

Got a potential story, tip or enquiry? Find out more about RaceFans and contact us here.

Posted on Categories 2018 F1 season, 2018 Japanese Grand Prix, F1 newsTags , ,

Promoted content from around the web | Become a RaceFans Supporter to hide this ad and others

  • 19 comments on “Hamilton surprised Ferrari haven’t used team orders more often”

    1. Vettel probably feels he doesn’t need Kimi as his rear gunner.

      Hammy has won two races this year due to team orders — Hockenheim were Bottas was ordered not to pass Hammy despite being on brand new tyres (Hammy stayed out knowing Bottas wouldn’t be allowed to pass) and Russia.

      And let’s not forget all the times Bottas has had his strategy sabotaged in order to hold up Vettel. When Bottas had his strategy sabotaged in Hungary, Toto Wolff even complimented Bottas as being an “sensational wingman”.

      “It feels a bit bittersweet,” Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff said, “because Valtteri would have deserved a podium because he was such a sensational wingman.”

      1. Such pessimism.

        A wonderful drive in Hockenheim where he would have won either way had Bottas pitted or not. (He was seconds faster than anyone uptill the safety car)

        And Bottas is truly where he is because of his mis season slump.

        Also, I think Ferrari were over confident of their cars’ progress to give up on team orders in races like Germany and Italy.

        You cannot steal the thunder of a wonderful championship coming to a close because of any team doing something wrong. A lot went wrong for both and right for both, but we have had a brilliant battle up front and as last weak’s Russia GP showed, Hamilton has had the edge over vettel since midseason.

        1. The highlights run the radio call too close to Botta’s attemptto overtake at Hockenhiem and the delay during the race makes pinning dwn the cal hard, but from what I understand, the call for Bottas to hold position came nearly half a lap later, when Hamilton was pulling well clear and Kimi was up Bottas’ tailpipes.

          1. The call came when Bottas was swarming Hammy. Bottas immediately fell away.

            If Hammy was pulling away, Toto wouldn’t be jumping on the radio ordering Bottas not to pass.

            You could only imagine the howls if Kimi with new tyres was all over Vettel and then Ferrari get on the radio demanding Kimi to hold stations.

            People would still be complaining about it!

            1. The call came after Bottas’s best chance to overtake, after that Hamilton had the lead and tyres that were back in the right window. It was very unlikely to result in a race win for Bottas’s regardless of team orders.

              His strategy was not sabotaged in Hungary and anyone who thinks that is clearly lacking in braincells. Why put him giving Vettel free air if his strategy was to hold up Vettel. Ridiculous nonsense as usual.

    2. I think Lewis still doesn’t understand how F1 works.
      It’s not until to tell a driver to move over that you have executed team orders. You have, target lap times, pit stop sequence, etc, which Ferrari have used already.
      The problem was Vettel was expecting team orders on a chaotic first lap at Monza, had his accident then dropped to far back. Ferrari has ruined many of Kimi’s races this season while trying to protect Vettel.

      1. Obviously, you do. There is a Team Principal role opening up at McLaren soon. I think you should apply.

    3. I can understand why Mercedes (and Ferrari in the Schumacher era) have used team orders, but I think that teams should understand that they are not beneficial long term.
      They may give the occassional championship to a driver, but in general they hurt the sport as this practice drives the fans away.
      Not to mention that they hurt the legacy of the driver that benefits from them.

    4. Team orders are weird, they make sense in a team game but ruin an individual sport and F1 seems to want to be both and use the other to defend their use – so they’re simultaneously derided and cheered for.

      Ferrari have used Raikkonen to help Vettel occasionally but not quite in the same way as Mercedes have used Bottas – that’s either because Ferrari are unwilling to do so or that Raikkonen’s generally been too slow to be in the position to be used like that. Though really if “Fernando is faster than you Ferrari” are looking outwardly more fair than you that says a lot about you, doesn’t it?

    5. Ferrari has been using Kimi in races as backup for the last two years – giving him strategies that make no sense otherwise than to support Seb.

      That said, only too often there really is no use to changing positions when Kimi is already far behind anyway.

      1. They aren’t doing too good a job of using him as a rear gunner because I can’t remember Kimi fighting for his life to keep Hammy behind him.

        But Bottas — I can recall him doing that 4 times already this season to help Hammy win. Plus the actual wins he handed him in Russia and Hockenheim.

        Bottas was even called a sensational wingman by a proud Toto Wolff after his successful effort in Hungary to ruin Vettel’s race.

        1. +10 Ferrari did not even use Kimi in Monza. Kimi could have easily left Seb get by into the first corner, but he didn’t and forced Vettel to block. That move from Kimi caused Seb to have a bad exit into turn two which then allowed Hamilton to get a very powerful slipstream. Kimi has not helped Ferrari and has not helped Vettel.

          1. Raikkonen didn’t win a race since 2013 and probably won’t win another before his retirement, monza was a good chance, I see nothing wrong with that since title is overall gone due to vettel’s mistakes and now if mercedes keeps being superior it will overtake ferrari on average performance too across the season.

    6. I agree with most comments above, but Mercedes and Hamilton already have the title practically wrapped up, there was no need to have team orders at this stage.

      It makes sense if its close and Vettel and Ferrari are a real threat but there was no need to basically act desperate when its not called for, it just ruins the show and leaves a bad taste in everyone’s mouth. Everyone would praise Mercedes if they did this say in Abu Dhabi with Vettel leading the standings by 6 points and Hamilton needing to win to secure the title. There is a time and place for team orders but its sad how they try and justify it. But once Hamilton wraps up the title, they’ll allow him to win the ones Vettel cant win, so exciting.

    7. They didnt use direct team orders but left Kimi as a scapegoat on track on a lot of occasions and thats worse than direct team orders.

    8. Wow, HAM sees what his fans don’t…….

    9. Vettel fan 17 (@)
      4th October 2018, 19:31

      I have the feeling when earlier in the season when Hamilton and Mercedes were accusing Ferrari of team orders Ferrari took it to heart and certainly lowered down on, e.g. Austria they had a prime chance to give Vettel three more points but they stuck with Kimi second, Italy another one. Could just all be mind games

      1. Austria would’ve been as unnecessary as this team order was here, arrivabene has been clear: let kimi race, he’s a world champion after all, we never even thought to order them to swap places, something like this.

        In austria due to hamilton’s failure, vettel undeservedly went into leading the title, 3 points would’ve been meaningless but a big factor of demotivation for raikkonen which could have repercussions on the constructors.

        But after the recent mercedes superiority even that seems unlikely now.

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    All comments are moderated. See the Comment Policy and FAQ for more.
    If the person you're replying to is a registered user you can notify them of your reply using '@username'.