Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes, Baku City Circuit, 2019

No ‘hold position’ order for Hamilton and Bottas – Wolff

2019 Azerbaijan Grand Prix

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Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff said the team did not call off the fight between its drivers during the Azerbaijan Grand Prix and intends to continue letting them race each other.

Lewis Hamilton put race leader Valtteri Bottas under pressure in the final laps of the race but when asked by RaceFans Wolff said the team would not have considered calling off the fight between its drivers.

“No, [we] let them race,” he said. “I think we did, they are experienced, they know that racing must be clean, we see lap one was very clean. And this is a track where we mustn’t take crazy risks because you could lose both of the cars.”

Wolff was seen talking on the radio in the closing stages of the race but made it clear he hadn’t intervened in the fight between the pair.

“When we talk to the drivers it’s open, everybody can hear them. But then obviously you have intercom which is only an internal line.

“But I was not talking to the drivers. If I push the driver button, I know it myself, so I am not giving myself permission to talk to the drivers because I get emotional and then sometimes I regret what I say. So I never talk to the drivers directly during the race.

“It was more a discussion with a group of strategists on the pit wall. It was a discussion whether Vettel would actually come close, whether we would save the engine, it was about whether Leclerc or Verstappen would go for fastest lap, it was more an overall discussion.

“We acknowledged that it could get a little bit racy at the end, but we didn’t talk to them.”

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13 comments on “No ‘hold position’ order for Hamilton and Bottas – Wolff”

  1. Good on Toto and Mercedes.. I hope the attitude will be same when Bottas is the one behind.

    1. Well the difference is Bottas or Rosberg never were chasing and stay in the drs zone with Hamilton. We see it awfully alot other way around because this proves you Hamilton is the best. So keep on dreaming of Bottas staying close behind Hamilton or even try to close the gap. In china bottas was behind lewis just like lewis was behind bottas today but the difference is lewis were faster and always has been hence massive gap between lewis and bottas in china and lewis right on bottas box in baku proves lewis is faster but very hard to overtake since bottas doesnt have a terrible pace or making mistakes

      1. My lewiscount has stopped at 6 lewises, all within one sentence. You win his gangsta bandana and a DVD record of the 2018 German Grand Prix.

        1. Yes, good example of bottas pressuring hamilton.

  2. Nice sentiment but I doubt Toto Wolff would have kept his composure had it been actual racing like Verstappen and Ricciardo at Baku last year.

    1. He pretty much said that himself, didn’t he @david-br

      “No, [we] let them race,” he said. “I think we did, they are experienced, they know that racing must be clean, we see lap one was very clean

      – so it follows that if they were not racing in a manner that shows they are aware the racing “must be clean” the team would feel the need to interfere

      1. @bascb Well it depends on your opinion of whether the racing between Verstappen and Ricciardo was clean or not. Until the actual crash, it was borderline but clean I think (and as far as the race officials were concerned). But my real point was that after the first corner any actual racing between them was over. They weren’t swapping places, Hamilton didn’t even catch Bottas at any point. I expect that’s going to happen soon enough and we’ll see.

  3. nevertheless the season is boring and over… see you next year
    Hamilton WDC
    Mercedes WCC
    Is Red Bull going to catch Ferrari is the ONLY interesting item for 2019

    1. Ferrari WFPC. World Free Practice Champion.

    2. Oh well, at least there is Indy and FE to give us genuine exciting racing!

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