Mercedes F1 boss Toto Wolff defended the team’s decision to impose team orders on Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas. He has said that if the roles were reversed, he would have still asked his drivers to hold station.
Following the restart when the safety car went in, Valtteri Bottas challenged his teammate. But then, the team intervened on the radio and told the Finn to hold station to the chequered flag.
Wolff adamantly stated that the team orders did not mean that there was a definite number 1 and 2.
“No, absolutely not,” he said. “If it had been the other way around, with Valtteri in the lead and Lewis second, we would have made the same call. Identical call.
“It was about bringing it home, irrespective of who was in the front.
“When they started to be all over each other at the restart, it was still raining at places, or it was still humid.
“And we had so much bad luck in the last couple of races that the scenario of losing a car, or two, it was just something that I didn’t want to even envisage.”
Asked if he would have to talk through the situation with Bottas, he said: “We had some eye contact on the podium, and I think it’s pretty clear between us.
“But what I said to Valtteri is something that I would also say in the team, I would have done the same thing the other way around.
“I think this is the transparency we have in the team, that we wouldn’t make a difference. It was important to score the double podium, the one and two, in order to recover some of the points which we lost through bad luck.”
Now, Mercedes will be looking forward to Hungary in less than a week’s time. If Hamilton can put on a good show there, he will go into the summer break with an advantage.