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Bottas ignored Wolff's orders in Australia

Bottas ignored Wolff's orders in Australia



Bottas ignored Wolff's orders in Australia

Bottas ignored Wolff's orders in Australia

Toto Wolff confirmed that Valtteri Bottas and his race engineer Riccardo Musconi directly disobeyed his instructions not to chase the bonus point for the fastest lap at the Australian Grand Prix. Bottas added the fastest lap to his race victory to leave Melbourne with a maximum 26 points.

Bonus points for the fastest lap of each race will be given out in F1 for the first time in 60 years this season, with Bottas the first to benefit after a late-race 'battle' with Red Bull's Max Verstappen.

The Dutchman took the fastest lap with four laps to go, but Bottas managed to blast in a 1:25.580 on the penultimate tour of Albert Park.

Bottas asked over team radio whether he would be pitting late on in an attempt to secure the extra point and replied "I want 26 points" when told Mercedes would take the risk-averse route.

"Today in the morning meeting when we talked about strategy, I forbade them to go for the fastest lap if we were running first, second or third," said Wolff. "They ignored me. All of them!

"At the end I'm very happy. Collecting that extra point I think is good. It's entertaining. It's a great new part of the spectacle.

"I believe that it's taking risks. Especially when you're aiming for the big points, should you go for the fastest lap?

"But then maybe my reference point in keeping control of a car is my own driving and not the level of the Formula 1 drivers? I didn't like it so much."

Bottas confirmed that Mercedes' intentions were to be more "conservative" in the season opener, but he was delighted nevertheless to secure a maximum haul.

"Obviously getting the big amount of points from the result itself is a much, much bigger priority," he said.

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"And the second priority, the fastest lap. Once the gap to behind was decent there was enough margin to speak about that, and make a plan for that.

"I just decided in the last few laps, even though I was in traffic, trying to find a bit of a gap.

"I was pulling back, with some cars behind, went to some other engine modes, and went for a quick lap. I'm glad I got it, so it's obviously one point more."


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