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Bottas accepts team orders with no hard feelings

2018-07-22 20:00

Image: AP / Luca Bruno

Hockenheim - Valtteri Bottas shrugged and said he accepted the team orders that meant he came home second behind Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton in Sunday's German Grand Prix.

The Finn had a chance to win the race in the closing stages when, on fresh tyres, he attacked Hamilton, but was unable to pass him - and was then told to "hold position".

"We had a bit of a battle out there, the first lap after the safety car," said Bottas, referring to the resumption of racing following Sebastian Vettel's crash.

"But I didn't get past him and then I was told to minimise the risk...Which I understand."

He accepted the instruction without drama knowing that, two days after his 2019 contract confirmation, it was better for him to do so.

"From my side, no hard feelings on the call," he said. "It made complete sense for me. We had the battle and that was it. I'd already lost the race before that with the safety car so it didn't really go my way.

"Here you need a quite a big pace difference to overtake and being more or less on equal tyres it would have been really tricky."

"I think, for Lewis, the safety car was better-timed. He stayed out and I had to stop.

"As a driver, of course, a win is what you're looking after," Bottas said. "But taking positives as the team, it was a perfect result for us in Germany, our home Grand Prix for Mercedes. So that's good."

Mercedes team chief Toto Wolff explained why they used team orders and did not allow the drivers to race for victory.

"We didn't have the quickest car here," he said. "And we need to progress for the next races because that is the most important.

"It was still raining at the time and the fight was so intense. There was all to lose with the bad luck that we had in the last races and we wanted to keep it calm.

"It's motor racing. The race happens on Sunday, not Saturday. All the bad luck that we have had come back to us with tremendous good luck. And that makes me happy."

German Grand Prix results at Hockenheim on Sunday:

1. Lewis Hamilton (GBR/Mercedes) 1hr 32min 29.845, 2. Valtteri Bottas (FIN/Mercedes) at 4.535, 3. Kimi Raikkonen (FIN/Ferrari) 6.732, 4. Max Verstappen (NED/Red Bull-Renault) 7.654, 5. Nico Hülkenberg (GER/Renault) 26.609, 6. Romain Grosjean (FRA/Haas-Ferrari) 28.871, 7. Sergio Pérez (MEX/Force India-Mercedes) 30.556, 8. Esteban Ocon (FRA/Force India-Mercedes) 31.750, 9. Marcus Ericsson (SWE/Sauber-Ferrari) 32.362, 10. Brendon Hartley (NZL/Toro Rosso-Honda) 34.197, 11. Kevin Magnussen (DEN/Haas-Ferrari) 34.919, 12. Carlos Sainz Jr (ESP/Renault) 43.069, 13. Stoffel Vandoorne (BEL/McLaren-Renault) 46.617, 14. Pierre Gasly (FRA/Toro Rosso-Honda) 1 lap, 15. Charles Leclerc (MON/Sauber-Ferrari) 1 lap, 16. Fernando Alonso (ESP/McLaren-Renault) 1 lap


Daniel Ricciardo (AUS/Red Bull-Renault), Sergey Sirotkin (RUS/Williams), Sebastian Vettel (GER/Ferrari), Lance Stroll (CAN/Williams), Fernando Alonso (ESP/McLaren-Renault)

World championship standings:


1. Lewis Hamilton (GBR) 188 pts, 2. Sebastian Vettel (GER) 171, 3. Kimi Räikkönen (FIN) 131, 4. Valtteri Bottas (FIN) 122, 5. Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) 106, 6. Max Verstappen (NED) 105, 7. Nico Hulkenberg (GER) 52, 8. Fernando Alonso (ESP) 40, 9. Kevin Magnussen (DEN) 39, 10. Sergio Perez (MEX) 30, 11. Esteban Ocon (FRA) 29, 12. Carlos Sainz Jr (ESP) 28, 13. Romain Grosjean (FRA) 20, 14. Pierre Gasly (FRA) 18, 15. Charles Leclerc (MON) 13, 16. Stoffel Vandoorne (BEL) 8, 17. Marcus Ericsson (SWE) 5, 18. Lance Stroll (CAN) 4, 19. Brendon Hartley (NZL) 2


1. Mercedes 310 pts, 2. Ferrari 302, 3. Red Bull 211, 4. Renault 80, 5. Force India 59, 6. Haas 59, 7. McLaren-Renault 48, 8. Toro Rosso-Honda 20, 9. Sauber 18, 10. Williams 4

Read more on:    valtteri bottas  |  f1

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