Mercedes clarifies Bottas overtake mode "miscommunication"

Toto Wolff has explained the radio exchange with Valtteri Bottas over using a push mode to try and catch Lewis Hamilton in the opening stages of the Belgian Grand Prix.

Mercedes clarifies Bottas overtake mode "miscommunication"
Listen to this article

Mercedes swept to its sixth victory of the 2020 Formula 1 season as Hamilton led Bottas home for a 1-2 finish, extending its lead over Red Bull in the drivers' championship.

Hamilton led every lap of the race at the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps, having kept Bottas at bay in the opening stages before controlling the gap at the front.

Bottas was heard asking if he had "one push" available to try and catch Hamilton in the early part of the race when he sat just outside the one-second DRS window.

Bottas' engineer informed the Finn that he did, but "we agreed not to use it against each other", to which Bottas replied: "I never heard of that."

Read Also:

Mercedes team principal Wolff explained after the race that it had been agreed to keep the high-power overtake modes in reserve to defend from Red Bull's Max Verstappen behind.

"There's no rules in place between the two drivers, they are allowed and free to race," Wolff said when asked by Motorsport.com about the exchange.

"In the morning, we agreed and discussed that we obviously have a limited amount of overtakes, and that we would try not to use them against each other, or the last one against each other.

"There is always the risk of needing it against Max or any other car. This is what we were referring to.

"[With] Valtteri obviously, this was maybe a miscommunication between him and some of the guys. That's why we reiterated it."

Bottas said it was "impossible" to say if he was quicker than Hamilton at any point in the race as he ran in the dirty air of his teammate, forcing him to use up more of his tyres.

He felt his best chance to overtake Hamilton came at the start, when he got a better exit out of La Source, only to be forced to ease off to avoid running into the rear of the sister Mercedes.

"I tried to use the opportunities," Bottas said. "The first one was the race start, out of Turn 1, I got a better run than Lewis, so I had to actually lift to not run into the back of him.

"I tried to leave a bit of a gap to get momentum of the tow, but today, I was surprised how small the tow I had was with the tailwind into Turn 5 made a difference.

"Actually [it was] the same on the restart, I was hoping to catch him, but I just couldn't."

The result has left Bottas trailing Hamilton by 50 points in the drivers' championship after seven rounds, with Red Bull's Max Verstappen sitting three clear.

shares
comments

Related video

Gasly thought he would hit wall in Perez fight at Spa
Previous article

Gasly thought he would hit wall in Perez fight at Spa

Next article

Verstappen: Managing tyres made Belgian GP "boring"

Verstappen: Managing tyres made Belgian GP "boring"
How departing F1 boss Brawn views F1’s new rules - and the future Prime

How departing F1 boss Brawn views F1’s new rules - and the future

Multiple-title-winning designer and team boss Ross Brawn is finally leaving Formula 1 after nearly 50 years in motorsport. But he still has plenty of insights on what’s working and what comes next, as he revealed to Motorsport.com in a far-reaching exclusive interview in Abu Dhabi.

Formula 1
Dec 2, 2022
The key F1 management call Ferrari must make to avoid more defeat Prime

The key F1 management call Ferrari must make to avoid more defeat

OPINION: Mattia Binotto’s departure from Ferrari will naturally bring a range of changes across the Formula 1 team. But how the changes shape up and the impact they could have is set to be dictated by a key direction Ferrari’s top dogs will need to pick

Formula 1
Nov 30, 2022
The difference between Mercedes’ stumble and the fall of F1 giants Prime

The difference between Mercedes’ stumble and the fall of F1 giants

OPINION: Mercedes endured its worst season of the hybrid Formula 1 era, but was mercifully spared its first winless campaign in over a decade late on. It has owned up to the mistakes it made which led to its troubled W13. And while its task to return to title-challenging contention is not small, its 2022 season seems more like a blip than the beginning of a downward spiral.

Formula 1
Nov 29, 2022
The physical focus bringing out the best from Esteban Ocon Prime

The physical focus bringing out the best from Esteban Ocon

Esteban Ocon likes to point out he’s the first driver since Lewis Hamilton to emerge from a spell as Fernando Alonso’s teammate with a superior overall points record. While some may disagree, as LUKE SMITH discovered, the 2021 Hungarian GP winner reckons it’s not just luck which has made him France’s pre-eminent Formula 1 driver of the moment…

Formula 1
Nov 28, 2022
How Red Bull's dynamic leader Mateschitz shaped its F1 philosophy Prime

How Red Bull's dynamic leader Mateschitz shaped its F1 philosophy

The death of Dietrich Mateschitz last month has not only deprived Red Bull of its visionary founder, it has shorn Formula 1 of one of its most influential benefactors. Mateschitz himself was famously media-shy, preferring to let the brand do the talking on his behalf. And, while it’s now normal to speak of Red Bull F1 titles and champions made, Mateschitz never assumed it would be easy or even possible – as ANTHONY ROWLINSON discovered during this previously unpublished interview from 2006…

Formula 1
Nov 27, 2022
Can Mercedes break Formula 1's cycle of doom? Prime

Can Mercedes break Formula 1's cycle of doom?

OPINION: Teams that have dominated for long periods throughout Formula 1's history often take years to get back to the top of the tree once they've slipped down. But it remains to be seen whether the same will happen to Mercedes after a challenging 2022 season

Formula 1
Nov 24, 2022
What hurt Perez most in his ill-fated fight for second in Abu Dhabi Prime

What hurt Perez most in his ill-fated fight for second in Abu Dhabi

Arguably the favourite in the battle to finish second-best in 2022's Formula 1 standings, Sergio Perez's two-stop strategy at Abu Dhabi couldn't take him ahead of Charles Leclerc when the music stopped - and several key factors ultimately precluded him from the much-coveted runner-up spot.

Formula 1
Nov 23, 2022
The Abu Dhabi momentum that can propel Leclerc and Ferrari to F1 2023 success Prime

The Abu Dhabi momentum that can propel Leclerc and Ferrari to F1 2023 success

OPINION: Charles Leclerc achieved his target of sealing runner-up in the 2022 world championship with a masterful drive behind Max Verstappen in Abu Dhabi. And that race contained key elements that may help him, and Ferrari, go one better in Formula 1 2023

Formula 1
Nov 22, 2022