Red Bull boss, Christian Horner, has said that the power ladder at Mercedes is clear to everyone- that Valtteri Bottas is indeed the support car for Lewis Hamilton. He termed it as ‘not needing a rocket scientist’.
“It shouldn’t have been a surprise. I’m surprised it would have been a surprise to anybody. “You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to work that out,” Horner said when asked about the team orders issued by Mercedes at Russia. “But you would have thought they would have discussed the scenarios before the race.”
“What was I suppose slightly confusing about that is that it wasn’t all pre-discussed and agreed going into the event,” he added. He also appeared to defend the team order decision by Mercedes.
“It’s very easy to forget that F1 is a team sport. The drivers ultimately drive for the team. You are fighting for a World Championship [and] in that situation it only takes a couple of DNFs [to lose it],” he said.
“It’s a constant battle between a Drivers’ Championship and the self interest of the drivers and the collective interest of the team. So you can understand the rationale behind it. It just sounds like the execution wasn’t pre-discussed.”
Horner also said that Bottas should be aware of his role at the team currently. “Sure, but it’s very clear what his role is this year,” he said when asked if Bottas should have expected it.
The Red Bull boss was a happy man himself after his star driver, Max Verstappen, put in a stellar drive to finish fifth, but most remarkably led for a lot of laps and looked strong enough to not let Hamilton attack him.
However, his tyres were too worn out to be able to continue for the race and he also had to make the decision to not attack Raikkonen as he had to save his engine for the business end of the season.