Vettel defends Mercedes’ team orders

Date published: October 1 2018

Sebastian Vettel defends Mercedes 'no-brainer' team orders

Although taking the win off Valtteri Bottas and handing it to Lewis Hamilton was a controversial decision in Sochi, Sebastian Vettel, arguably the biggest loser in it, says it was a “no-brainer.”

Racing for position in Sunday’s Russian Grand Prix, Mercedes used team orders to get Bottas to allow Hamilton through.

Video: The moment Bottas let Hamilton through

Mercedes at the time said it was because Hamilton’s one tyre had a “small blister” that could leave him vulnerable to an attack from Vettel.

Bottas was not happy about the decision but played the game.

He finished second to Hamilton’s victory with the Brit’s 25 points moving him 50 clear of Vettel in the race for the World title.

Vettel said: “Well done to both of them, they played together as a team very well.

“In their defence, all the questions – I know you guys love controversy so therefore ask naughty questions to them as individuals, but I think in the position they are it’s a no-brainer what they did today.

“Maybe not all the questions are justified.”

Meanwhile Hamilton insists he never asked for Bottas to move over, saying passing his team-mate in that manner didn’t feel good.

“They told me on the radio that Valtteri was going to let me go, which is not what I wanted,” he said.

“I just said ‘just tell him to speed up’ because I had Sebastian on my tail, it was quite close.

“Passing him did not feel good, in that instant, in Turn 13. And I didn’t know what was planned for the end.

“I was waiting to get some news or something like that, but I knew that the team wanted it to end that way.

“If they’d made that call, then it confirmed to me that they wanted to end that way.”

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