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
Listen to this article

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 historic clues that offer hints of Hamilton’s next move Prime

The historic clues that offer hints of Hamilton’s next move

OPINION: Uncertainty over Lewis Hamilton's future has persisted since the race direction call that denied him an eighth world title in Abu Dhabi last month. But while walking away would be understandable, Hamilton has time and again responded well in the face of adversity and possesses all the tools needed to bounce back stronger than ever

Formula 1
Jan 26, 2022
What the FIA must do to restore F1's credibility Prime

What the FIA must do to restore F1's credibility

OPINION: The first stage of the 2022 Formula 1 pre-season is just over a month away, but the championship is still reeling from the controversial results of last year’s finale. The FIA acknowledges F1 has had its reputation dented as a result, so here’s how it could go about putting things right

Formula 1
Jan 25, 2022
The six subplots to watch in 2022 as a new F1 era begins Prime

The six subplots to watch in 2022 as a new F1 era begins

As Formula 1 prepares to begin a new era of technical regulations in 2022, We pick out six other key elements to follow this season

Formula 1
Jan 24, 2022
Why newly-retired Kimi Raikkonen won't miss F1 Prime

Why newly-retired Kimi Raikkonen won't miss F1

After 349 grand prix starts, 46 fastest laps, 21 wins and one world championship, Kimi Raikkonen has finally called time on his F1 career. In an exclusive interview with Motorsport.com on the eve of his final race, he explains his loathing of paddock politics and reflects on how motorsport has changed over the past two decades.

Formula 1
Jan 23, 2022
Unpacking the technical changes behind F1 2022's rules shake-up Prime

Unpacking the technical changes behind F1 2022's rules shake-up

Formula 1 cars will look very different this year as the long-awaited fresh rules finally arrive with the stated aim of improving its quality of racing. We break down what the return of 'ground effect' aerodynamics - and a flurry of other changes besides - means for the teams, and what fans can expect

Formula 1
Jan 21, 2022
Why F1's new era is still dogged by its old world problems Prime

Why F1's new era is still dogged by its old world problems

OPINION: The 2022 Formula 1 season is just weeks away from getting underway, but instead of focusing on what is to come, the attention still remains on what has been – not least the Abu Dhabi title decider controversy. That, plus other key talking points, must be resolved to allow the series to warmly welcome in its new era

Formula 1
Jan 20, 2022
The Schumacher trait that will give Haas hope in F1 2022 Prime

The Schumacher trait that will give Haas hope in F1 2022

Mick Schumacher’s knack of improving during his second season in a championship was a trademark of his junior formula career, so his progress during his rookie Formula 1 campaign with Haas was encouraging. His target now will be to turn that improvement into results as the team hopes to reap the rewards of sacrificing development in 2021

Formula 1
Jan 19, 2022
The “glorified taxi” driver central to F1’s continued safety push Prime

The “glorified taxi” driver central to F1’s continued safety push

As the driver of Formula 1’s medical car, Alan van der Merwe’s job is to wait – and hope his skills aren’t needed. James Newbold hears from F1’s lesser-known stalwart.

Formula 1
Jan 15, 2022