Did Valtteri Bottas Ignore Team Orders During the Australian Grand Prix?

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Valtteri Bottas

Well, truth be told, it doesn’t appear as if Valtteri Bottas can ever have his cake and eat it too.

On a completely different thought, corroborating with the aforementioned emotion, one’s come to wonder whether the expression ‘team orders’ can ever be used in ‘isolation’ or ‘complete absence’ of the Finnish racing driver?

On Sunday, March 17, 2019, the Finn, who had endured a winless 2018 opened his account with a sensational win. In so doing, he grabbed 26 points, including 1 point for having set the fastest lap of the race.

If you saw the race, and regardless of whether you are an F1 pundit or a fan, two things stood out in Bottas’ incredible showing at Albert Park, Melbourne.

For starters, his win meant that Bottas reached the top step of the podium after a draught that lasted for 21 Grands Prix. And second, that Bottas’ jubilant victory meant that Lewis Hamilton, a five-time world champion, only occupied the second step of the podium.

Mercedes
Toto Wolff with the Mercedes boys

Valtteri Bottas’ sensational season opening triumph provided the perfect antithesis to what might have been the usual unfolding as seen in the past; with Vettel or Hamilton

Yet, something seems amiss about Valtteri’s 2019 Australian Grand Prix victory. Wondering what that is?

Well, here’s what you ought to know.

It’s a bit of a shocker, truth be told, that of all people Valtteri Bottas’ own team boss, Toto Wolff has shared that the driver ‘ignored’ team orders during the Grand Prix.

Stunned, surprised, what are you?

Now here is what Valtteri Bottas seems to have ignored, according to Wolff.

In a team-meet that actually took place prior to the race, the drivers were clearly directed to follow an instruction. They were told that should they not have the fastest lap during the closing stages of the race, they would not be given the permission to chase time for that extra point (1 point).

This, according to Wolff, is something that Bottas ignored.

And interestingly, Wolff also went on to share that, “I forbade them to go for the fastest lap if we were running first, second or third. They ignored me. All of them!”

One wonders what might have been the conversation between Wolff and Bottas post Mercedes winning the Australian GP.

F1
Valtteri Bottas