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Bottas didn't expect 'confusing' team orders call

05 Octobre 2018

Move over, Valtteri Whatever the tactical rights or wrongs of the decision to order Valtteri Bottas to allow Lewis Hamilton through to win the Russian Grand Prix, it has sparked fresh debate over team orders in Formula One.

Sebastian Vettel believes wins at the upcoming races could be enough to put pressure on Mercedes and force a dramatic turnaround in the drivers' championship in the final five races.

The blank faces at Mercedes summed up their feelings towards a decision it never wanted to make.

Bottas said the decision was "confusing" and that he was not prepared for it.

"So how are we going to finish the race?"

"Today the feeling with the vehicle was very good and I was able to push, but I just wasn't as fast as the others", said Vettel.

"No agreement was reached on introducing it for 2019 but the seeds of discussion were planted, now we have to make sure they grow well", Brawn said. He would lose second place to Sebastian (Vettel) and that wouldn't be ideal for both of the championships, so I think that was the worry but I think in the end it proved that actually it wasn't that bad.

Valtteri Bottas has pledged to abide by team orders again if called upon by Mercedes to act as Lewis Hamilton's assistant.

As the pit stop window approaches, Ferrari asks Raikkonen to do the opposite to Hamilton in terms of pitting or staying out - the only problem is that Raikkonen is too far behind to see the Mercedes.

From pole position, Bottas had executed a flawless race, properly outpacing his team mate only to be ordered to cede his position in favour of Hamilton with ten laps to go when the Brit appeared under threat from title rival Vettel.

"Obviously as soon as I came out ahead, then Valtteri found the brake pedal to make life a little bit harder for me, which I didn't mind initially because I thought he'd give me a nice tow", said Vettel.

"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.

Behind him, Vettel's strong start allowed him to attack Hamilton through the Turn 1 kink, but Hamilton regrouped in Bottas' slipstream and rebuffed the Ferrari.

"Rationally, it was the right call to do", he said. I know we have a great vehicle, I'm not doubting that. I think every one of us was facing this struggle between our head and our heart on Sunday.

After 12 laps Bottas was the first of the leaders to pit for new tyres with Vettel following him in a lap later, and Hamilton stopping at the end of lap 14.

Bottas didn't expect 'confusing' team orders call