Bottas 'understands' Mercedes team order decision

Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 celebrates in parc ferme with Valtteri Bottas
© XPB 

Valtteri Bottas was playing the local team member on Sunday afternoon after missing out on victory in the German Grand Prix.

The Finn had been running in second place to Sebastian Vettel for much of the afternoon. The Ferrari crashed out on lap 51 and triggered a safety car. Bottas pitted for new tyres while his team mate Lewis Hamilton stayed out to assume the lead of the race.

With the benefit of fresher tyres, Bottas tried to overtake Hamilton at the restart but was rebuffed. The Mercedes pit wall then ordered Bottas to stand down and hold position to make it a team 1-2.

"We had a bit of a battle out there, first lap after the safety car with Lewis," he explained. "I didn't get past him, and then I was told to minimise the risk. Which I understand."

Bottas chose not to make a drama out of the crisis, and simply acknowledged the instruction and complied without argument.

"I think for Lewis the safety car was better timed," he shrugged. "He stayed out and I had to stop.

"As a driver of course a win is what you're looking after," he added. "When Seb went off I thought, you know, now this is a good choice.

"But taking positives as the team, it was a perfect result for us in Germany, our home Grand Prix for Mercedes. So that's good."

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff explained why the decision had been made.

"We didn't have the quickest car here," he told Sky Sports F1. "We need to progress for the next races because that is the most important.

"It was still raining at the time and the fight was so intense," he continued. "There was all to lose with the bad luck that we had in the last races, and we wanted to keep it calm at that stage."

Mercedes has had its share of bad luck over the course of the season to date - including Bottas' tyre blow-out while in the lead in Azerbaijan. Wolff felt it was about time that they should be able to benefit from Ferrari's misfortunes this weekend.

“It’s motor racing. The race happens on Sunday and not on Saturday. All the bad luck that we have came back to us with tremendous good luck," he said. "And that makes me happy."

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