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Bottas reveals team orders betrayal with Mercedes

Bottas reveals team orders betrayal with Mercedes

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Bottas reveals team orders betrayal with Mercedes

Bottas reveals team orders betrayal with Mercedes
GPFans Staff

Valtteri Bottas has revealed how he disobeyed Mercedes team orders to allow Red Bull's Max Verstappen to qualify ahead of him at last year's Russian Grand Prix.

Bottas qualified third for the race at Sochi behind Verstappen and team-mate Lewis Hamilton, going on to take the victory following Hamilton's penalties for practising starts in the wrong area of the pit-lane exit.

In the latest series of Netflix's 'Drive to Survive', it has emerged that tensions frayed in the aftermath of qualifying when Bottas ignored team orders to let Verstappen by in order to avoid the Dutchman from gaining a critical slipstream down the long straight in Sochi.

"At every other track on the calendar the best position to start is either first or second but I think actually on this track, if you want to win the race, you want to be either first or third," explained Bottas.

"At the start, it is nearly one kilometre into the first corner. If you are following a car there is less air to push away so you go faster on the straight. That is a huge advantage."

Bottas pointed to the 2018 race at the same venue where the Finn was given team-orders to allow Hamilton through - and which almost resulted in him quitting F1 - leading to his decision.

"On this track, I know that if you don't start on pole, you need to start third," added Bottas. "To beat Lewis, I always race hard, fair but sometimes it is like f**k it.

"After Sochi 2018 I realised you had to take all your opportunities."

There was visible consternation in the Mercedes garage post-qualifying, with team principal Toto Wolff enquiring "Did you see Verstappen how we towed him?" when in conversation with technical director James Allison.

To which Allison replied: "That's not the reason he's in front of us. The reason he's in front of us is we did a bad lap", only for Wolff to retort: "No, that's one of the reasons. We did a bad lap and we towed him. Both things contributed to not being P2."

In conversation, Wolff then states: "We are just trying to come as close to perfection as we can but sometimes the objectives of the drivers can be different to the objectives of the team."

Bottas, though, was nonplussed as to why he was under fire, pointing to the same slipstreaming advantage as a positive for starting third in order to open up opportunities into turn one.

"I didn't quite understand why the team would have been disappointed that I was third," continued Bottas.

"Everyone knew that third was better than second. If I did it on purpose, only I know but I would not have made it into this sport if I was not selfish at some times."

Wat vinden jullie?
Santos

Bottas days are Limited with Merc his opinion does not matter

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Santos
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Mar 2021
First Poster
Santos

Bottas days are Limited with Merc his opinion does not matter

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Brad
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Nov 2020
Brad

Well .... good on you Bottas !!!

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