Why 'no-brainer' Mercedes Russian GP team-orders decision was right

05 Octobre, 2018, 01:31 | Auteur: Adelaide Bullion
  • 131-018 MERCEDES R BRAKES

Victory was handed to Hamilton by his Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas, who pulled over to let him through on orders from the team. However, the British drivers' eighth victory of the season was a controversial one owing to team orders imposed by Mercedes.

The season ends with the 10th staging of the Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix on November 25, and Wolff's fear of being perceived an "idiot" comes down to the scenario of Vettel winning the championship.

Even if it sounded like clutching at straws, the German was not about to give up the fight, however.

In an interview with the Swiss newspaper Blick, Hamilton was asked if Raikkonen's impending departure from Ferrari might help his quest to win a fifth title this year.

But Hamilton has set tongues wagging in the build-up to the race by hinting he could leave Mercedes after his present deal runs out. The only exception was previous year when Vettel pipped Bottas to pole by 0.059s. This also means that Hamilton could theoretically only finish second in all the remaining races of the season, and still win the title.

The Finn ceded his position under instruction from the pit wall in Russian Federation last Sunday to gift Hamilton the victory that gave him a 50-point lead over Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel in the drivers' standings. Given the points lead Hamilton had built up to this stage, it was an unnecessary switch, he would have still come away 43 points clear with a second-place finish - a comfortable margin with five races remaining.

"But then we got tangled up in the way we called the pit stops", he added.

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Team-mate Rubens Barrichello's actions to move over just metres before the line did no favours for Ferrari, Schumacher or F1.

Mercedes had the 1-2 sewn up in Sochi but they are fighting for two world championships, not just the constructors'.

7 - The amount of times Charles Leclerc has finished in the points this year.

"It's disappointing for a driver and the team, but if you can extend the championship lead by more points, then that's what you have to do".

"He is an extraordinary professional and a fantastic driver", said the Mercedes driver.

Sebastian Vettel believes that Mercedes have been downplaying the potential of their own vehicle in order to make it seem like the team is closer to Ferrari, thus making their dominance seem more impressive, saying the gap between auto and his Ferrari is "not nice".

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