“You’ve Got to Put the Team First” – Lewis Hamilton on the Mercedes Position Swap

Published 05/10/2021, 7:37 AM EDT
Formula One F1 – Spanish Grand Prix – Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, Barcelona, Spain – May 8, 2021 Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton celebrates after qualifying in pole position with Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas who finished in third position REUTERS/Emilio Morenatti


This past weekend, Lewis Hamilton seized victory at the Spanish Grand Prix at the Circuit de Catalunya. He finished ahead of title rival, Max Verstappen and Mercedes teammate, Valtteri Bottas. Sometime during the race, Hamilton ended up behind the Finn and began to hunt him down.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Soon afterwards, the team radioed Bottas and asked him to not hold up his teammate. Despite the team’s order, he made life a little difficult for the seven-time world champion, before ultimately relenting. Call it pettiness, but Bottas was well within his rights to not make it easy for Lewis Hamilton.

Formula One F1 – Portuguese Grand Prix – Algarve International Circuit – Portimao, Portugal – May 2, 2021 Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas and Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton in action during the race REUTERS/Juan Medina

This isn’t even the first time Mercedes has imposed team orders in favor of Hamilton. One only has to remember the 2018 Russian Grand Prix when the team told Bottas to move over. The Finn was well on course for victory, and Mercedes’ call for him to make way for Lewis caused a massive outcry in the F1 community.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

What else did Lewis Hamilton say?

In the post-race press conference, Hamilton revealed that he was sure he was going to catch Bottas sooner than later.

He said, “When we went into turn ten, we were on massively different strategies so I was going to get him at some stage because I had much better tyres. And we were going into turn ten and I thought there was a gap there and I wasn’t quite sure and then there was a gap and Valtteri was completely fair, I wouldn’t lose too much time but this is how we win as a team.

“We sometimes have to… sometimes we’re in that position where you just. You’ve got to put the team first and getting a second and a third is good but getting a first is obviously max points and that’s key.”

Formula One F1 – Spanish Grand Prix – Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, Barcelona, Spain – May 8, 2021 Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton after qualifying in pole position Pool via REUTERS/Emilio Morenatti

The British driver confessed that he had no idea that the Mercedes team had relayed such a message. As a result, he was still under the impression that the two of them were racing each other.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Obviously, Hamilton was more than happy with that thought process, especially considering that the 2021 season is still in its early stages. So, the Knight only hoped to get close and try to overtake his Finnish teammate. Eventually, Hamilton won the race and extended his championship advantage.

Now, Hamilton and the Mercedes team are looking forward to the Monaco Grand Prix. Largely regarded as the crown jewel in Formula One, the iconic street circuit has witnessed quite a few Hamilton wins.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

DIVE DEEPER

Lewis Hamilton Provides Major Contract Update for 2022 F1 Season – “Hopefully Soon We Can”

about 1 month ago

SHARE THIS ARTICLE :

Dhruv George

11666 articles

Dhruv George is a senior Formula One and NASCAR analyst for EssentiallySports, having authored nearly 12000 articles spanning different sports like F1, NASCAR, Tennis, NFL, and eSports. He graduated with a PG Diploma in Journalism from the Xavier Institute of Communications. Dhruv has also conducted interviews with F1 driver Pierre Gasly and Moto2 rider Tony Arbolino.

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT