Bottas didn't expect 'confusing' Mercedes F1 Russian GP team orders


Following Mercedes' controversial use of team orders at the Russian Grand Prix, Lewis Hamilton used the example of Michael Schumacher to point out that people only remember who won Formula One championships, not how they did it.

Bottas, who is still without a win yet this season, afterwards said: "It was not something we had planned".

"I gave room even if I didn't want to, so it remains fair - tough but fair".

The lead has been growing ever since Vettel crashed out of the German Grand Prix back in July and has now reached a mark that is essentially worth two full race wins. Both drivers were visibly uncomfortable during the podium ceremony after the race, but Vettel said he would not try to capitalise on the frosty atmosphere at Mercedes.

Starting one place behind Hamilton in third, Vettel tried and failed to overtake him off the start and failed to take advantage when Hamilton missed a chance to get past Bottas into the second corner. It's not how I want to win.

Vettel won his first title with Red Bull in 2010 after overhauling a 31-point deficit in the last six races, while in 2012 he took his third crown despite having been 44 points adrift of his then-closest rival Fernando Alonso at one point.

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Asked if he would return the compliment to Bottas if, as is now expected, he wraps up the title with races to spare, Hamilton said: 'I'd have no problems with that. Valtteri was a real gentleman to let me through. We have to embrace the moment still, but it's the win on my list of wins that I'm least proud of.

"This, he said, created the scenario that led to Hamilton fighting to pass Vettel team orders to protect the defending champion, with blistered tyres, from a Vettel attack".

"Passing him did not feel good and I didn't know what was planned for the end - I was waiting for some news or something, but I knew the team wanted it to end that way".

"Valtteri, it is James", he said. I told them that they have to send it back.

F1 Racing magazine editor Ben Anderson is joined by executive director Stuart Codling to discuss the circumstances that led to the decision and why Mercedes' judgement was ultimately the correct course of action.

Wolff had made the decision to protect Hamilton's title bid, but admitted he was uncomfortable. "Usually I'd be elated but I can understand how hard it was for Valtteri".