Mercedes won't use pre-race team orders for Monza F1 sprint

Mercedes wants to let the start of Formula 1's Italian Grand Prix sprint qualifying play out before it considers team orders between Valtteri Bottas and Lewis Hamilton.

Mercedes won't use pre-race team orders for Monza F1 sprint

Bottas turned the tables on his world champion teammate Hamilton with a brilliant lap to grab the top spot in Friday's qualifying session at Monza.

And, with Hamilton locked in a close title fight with Red Bull's Max Verstappen, Mercedes may need to lean on Bottas to move aside in Saturday's sprint race to maximise his teammate's points haul.

Team orders are made more likely with Bottas having taken a fresh engine for the Monza event, which means he will start at the back of the grid for Sunday's main grand prix whatever position he finishes in on Saturday.

But Mercedes boss Toto Wolff is clear that the team won't hand out any orders to Bottas until after the start of Saturday's race.

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

"Everybody here should be aware he's [there] on merit. But, in this case, Valtteri is going all the way to the back on Sunday, so we need to see how the start pans out.

"There's not too much to discuss [beforehand]. Just be careful in the first corner, and then we'll see where they are."

Pole man Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes, in Parc Ferme after Qualifying

Pole man Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes, in Parc Ferme after Qualifying

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

Asked if Mercedes would order Bottas aside if the situation allowed later on, Wolff said: "Yeah presumably."

Wolff also praised the way that Bottas handled himself through qualifying, and reckoned that the Finn has been helped by being "free" of concerns over his contract now that his future at Alfa Romeo has been assured.

"He was really free," said Wolff. "He took a lot of risk on the first lap [in Q3] and went a bit wide, and then in his calm attitude he said: 'If I have a tow, I can go three tenths faster'. So he had a tow."

The decision to move Bottas on to a fresh power unit was partly triggered by the fact that Monza is a sprint race weekend, which meant the Finn still had an important role to play in qualifying.

Explaining the decision, Wolff said: "We had a little bit of a worry because we wouldn't have taken it otherwise. And in the sprint races format, it's quite good because you have to take the penalty only for Sunday."

shares
comments

Related video

Norris: Missing P3 in Monza F1 qualifying "sucks"

Previous article

Norris: Missing P3 in Monza F1 qualifying "sucks"

Next article

Horner praises Perez "sacrificing half a second" for Verstappen tow

Horner praises Perez "sacrificing half a second" for Verstappen tow
Load comments
Remembering Switzerland’s first F1 winner Prime

Remembering Switzerland’s first F1 winner

Stepping up to F1 in 1962, Jo Siffert shone with Rob Walker Racing Team and BRM before his career was abruptly ended in a fatal crash at Brands Hatch in 1971. Kevin Turner looks back at the life of Switzerland's first F1 winner on the 50th anniversary of his death

What Verstappen is risking with his current stance on 2021 F1 world title defeat Prime

What Verstappen is risking with his current stance on 2021 F1 world title defeat

OPINION: Max Verstappen is back in the lead of the 2021 Formula 1 drivers’ championship, with the season’s final flyaway events set to get underway in the USA this weekend. But a defensive stance he’s recently adopted could have a lasting impact for the Red Bull driver when it comes to his chances of defeating Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes

The hidden Ferrari struggle that Sainz’s recent charge put to rest Prime

The hidden Ferrari struggle that Sainz’s recent charge put to rest

Despite appearing to adjust to life as a Ferrari driver with relative ease, it was far from straightforward under the surface for Carlos Sainz. But, having made breakthroughs in rather different routes at the Russian and Turkish races, he’s now targeting even greater feats for the rest of the Formula 1 season

Formula 1
Oct 20, 2021
The final throes of Brazil's fleetingly successful F1 team Prime

The final throes of Brazil's fleetingly successful F1 team

Emerson Fittipaldi is better remembered for his Formula 1 world championships and Indianapolis 500 successes than for the spell running his eponymous F1 team. Despite a hugely talented roll call of staff, it was a period of internal strife, limited funding and few results - as remembered by Tim Wright.

Formula 1
Oct 18, 2021
Why McLaren's expanding agenda will benefit its F1 resurgence Prime

Why McLaren's expanding agenda will benefit its F1 resurgence

In the 1960s and 1970s, McLaren juggled works entries in F1, sportscars and the Indy 500 while building cars for F3 and F2. Now it’s returning to its roots, expanding into IndyCars and Extreme E while continuing its F1 renaissance. There’s talk of Formula E and WEC entries too. But is this all too much, too soon? Stuart Codling talks to the man in charge.

Formula 1
Oct 17, 2021
How Tsunoda plans to achieve his F1 potential Prime

How Tsunoda plans to achieve his F1 potential

Yuki Tsunoda arrived in grand prix racing amid a whirlwind of hype, which only increased after his first race impressed the biggest wigs in Formula 1. His road since has been rocky and crash-filled, and OLEG KARPOV asks why Red Bull maintains faith in a driver who admits he isn’t really that big a fan of F1?

Formula 1
Oct 15, 2021
The danger of reading too much into F1's clickbait radio messages Prime

The danger of reading too much into F1's clickbait radio messages

OPINION: After Lewis Hamilton responded to reports labelling him 'furious' with Mercedes following his heated exchanges over team radio during the Russian Grand Prix, it provided a snapshot on how Formula 1 broadcasting radio snippets can both illuminate and misrepresent the true situation

Formula 1
Oct 14, 2021
How F1’s pole winner approach undermines drivers Prime

How F1’s pole winner approach undermines drivers

OPINION: Valtteri Bottas is credited with pole position for the 2021 Turkish Grand Prix, despite being beaten in qualifying. This is another example of Formula 1 and the FIA scoring an own goal by forgetting what makes motorsport magic, with the Istanbul race winner also a victim of this in the championship’s recent history

Formula 1
Oct 13, 2021