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Wolff hints at sprint team orders after "worry" led to Bottas engine change

Wolff hints at sprint team orders after "worry" led to Bottas engine change

F1 News

Wolff hints at sprint team orders after "worry" led to Bottas engine change

Wolff hints at sprint team orders after "worry" led to Bottas engine change

Toto Wolff has revealed a "worry" with Valtteri Bottas' power unit caused the change that will see the Finn start the Italian Grand Prix from the back of the F1 grid.

Wolff also explained the team will "presumably" call on Bottas to make way for Lewis Hamilton during the 100km sprint due to his Sunday fate locked in.

Bottas was fastest in qualifying by just under a tenth of a second from team-mate Hamilton, with the Briton's title rival Max Verstappen third.

It was announced during the session that Mercedes had introduced a new ICE, turbo charger, MGU-K and MGU-H, with the combined penalties leading to the Finn start at the back of the field.

"We had a little bit of a worry because we wouldn't have taken it otherwise," Wolff told Sky Sports F1.

"In the sprint race format it is good because we can take the penalty only for Sunday."

The title battle looks set to fall down to Hamilton and Verstappen despite Bottas still mathematically having a chance of earning his first championship.

With the tightness at the top of the table, however, Wolff hinted at giving the order to swap his drivers around for Hamilton to gain the three points on offer at the end of the 18-lap sprint.

"It is difficult generally when you have to call team orders because all of us as racers don't want to see that," he added.

"Everybody here should be where he is on merit but Valtteri is going all the way to the back so we need to see how the start pans out.

"There is not too much to discuss. We have to be careful at the first corner and see where they are."

Asked to clarify if the switch of positions would take place, Wolff replied: "Yeah, presumably, yeah."

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