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
The humbling changes Ricciardo made to deliver the goods for McLaren Prime

The humbling changes Ricciardo made to deliver the goods for McLaren

From being lapped by his own teammate in Monaco to winning at Monza, it’s been a tumultuous first season at McLaren for Daniel Ricciardo. But, as he tells STUART CODLING, there’s more to the story of his turnaround than having a lovely summer holiday during Formula 1's summer break...

The potential benefits of losing the F1 constructors' title Prime

The potential benefits of losing the F1 constructors' title

As the battle continues to rage over the F1 2021 drivers' championship, teams up and down the grid are turning their attentions to the prize money attributed to each position in the constructors' standings. But F1's sliding scale rules governing wind tunnel and CFD use will soften the blow for those who miss out on the top places

Formula 1
Nov 25, 2021
The invisible enemy that's made Hamilton's title charge tougher Prime

The invisible enemy that's made Hamilton's title charge tougher

After winning his past few Formula 1 titles as a canter, Lewis Hamilton currently trails Max Verstappen by eight points heading into the final double-header of 2021. Although Red Bull has been his biggest on-track challenge, Hamilton feels that he has just as much to grapple with away from the circuit

Formula 1
Nov 24, 2021
Why F1's inconvenient penalties have to stay Prime

Why F1's inconvenient penalties have to stay

OPINION: Quibbles over the length of time taken by Formula 1's stewards over decisions are entirely valid. But however inconvenient it is, there can be no questioning the importance of having clearly defined rules that everyone understands and can stick to. Recent events have shown that ambiguity could have big consequences

Formula 1
Nov 23, 2021
The mistakes Red Bull cannot afford to repeat in F1 2021's title fight climax Prime

The mistakes Red Bull cannot afford to repeat in F1 2021's title fight climax

OPINION: Red Bull has had Formula 1’s fastest package for most of 2021, but in several of the title run-in events it has wasted the RB16B’s potential. It cannot afford to do so again with Lewis Hamilton motoring back towards Max Verstappen in the drivers’ standings with two rounds remaining

Formula 1
Nov 23, 2021
Qatar Grand Prix driver ratings Prime

Qatar Grand Prix driver ratings

Qatar was a virtual unknown for most as Formula 1 made its inaugural visit to the Gulf state, and tyre management quickly emerged as an even more critical factor than normal. Perhaps then it should come as no surprise that two of the championship's elder statesmen produced standout drives

Formula 1
Nov 22, 2021
How Hamilton dominated in Qatar despite missing a key Mercedes advantage Prime

How Hamilton dominated in Qatar despite missing a key Mercedes advantage

There was simply no stopping Lewis Hamilton on Formula 1's first visit to Qatar. The Mercedes driver eased to pole position and led every lap to secure an utterly dominant victory - even without a key Mercedes weapon in his arsenal to increase the heat on Red Bull heading into the final two races of the gripping 2021 title race

Formula 1
Nov 22, 2021
Qatar's long-term plans for a "World Cup every single year" Prime

Qatar's long-term plans for a "World Cup every single year"

Qatar is preparing to host the football World Cup next year, but will be thrown into the sporting spotlight this weekend as Formula 1 prepares to race in the country. Ahead of a 10-year deal to hold a grand prix from 2023 onwards, it's a much-needed opportunity to highlight reforms in the country

Formula 1
Nov 20, 2021