Russian GP: Were Mercedes right to use team orders on Valtteri Bottas?

Friday, 05 Oct, 2018

It's not nice to ask them hard questions and I think for the team it doesn't make a difference who wins and for the drivers' championship it does.

"I don't know, we're a bit behind in pure speed, but in the race the vehicle feels OK".

The Finn ceded his position under instruction from the pit wall in Russian Federation last Sunday to gift Hamilton the victory that gave him a 50-point lead over Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel in the drivers' standings. "To be the baddie on the Sunday evening, for many reasons, or be the idiot in Abu Dhabi at the end of the season".

"I'm not wishing that on Lewis, but you never know what happens, so we need to stay on top of our game which maybe we haven't been completely this weekend". A DNF for Hamilton in a race that Sebastian Vettel wins and the gap goes down to 25.

Mercedes' Valtteri Bottas leads Lewis Hamilton during the race.

Kimi Raikkonen can expect an emotional reception from his legion of Japanese fans in his final Suzuka race for Ferrari after learning last month that the team would not be retaining his services for 2019. The ruthless killer instinct inside me says: 'This is the way it should be, stop being so soft.

But Bottas, who was sat next to Hamilton in the same press conference, said he did not want to be gifted a victory.

Plus, with how grateful Hamilton was for Bottas allowing him to win the Russian Grand Prix and with how reluctant he was to consider himself the true victor of the race, it would not be surprising to see him repay the favor to the 29-year-old Finn by giving him a win that would otherwise end up belonging to himself.

"How did that happen?" he asked over the radio as his team boss, Toto Wolff, punched the table in frustration while watching on from the Mercedes garage.

"In their defence, all the questions - I know you guys love controversy so therefore ask naughty questions to them as individuals, but I think in the position they are it's a no-brainer what they did today".

Team orders are contentious, but legal, in Formula One and were used last season by Mercedes. I think every one of us was facing this struggle between our head and our heart on Sunday.

Bottas did secure the fastest lap of the race late on as he and Hamilton pushed in the closing stages but said it meant nothing.

Mercedes held the advantage over Ferrari in Sochi to take another step to winning an impressive fifth consecutive constructors' championship.

And there's only one of us who can win the championship.

"I can see in the years when we did it we were leading so much that people thought it was unnecessary - I can agree on that in a way".

Hamilton is on the verge of greatness, 2018 has brought out the best we have seen in him.