Mercedes and Hamilton pulled off the perfect coup in Italy today, as Hamilton emerged victorious in Ferrari’s home grand prix, despite starting from P3 today, with Raikkonen and Vettel leading the way.
The Brit displayed some aggressive moves initially and then just settled into a wonderful rhythm to win once again in Ferrari territory.
With Hamilton and Vettel coming into contact with each other on lap 1, Raikkonen was the only realistic challenge for Hamilton today.
And while Hamilton drove like a true champion today, he did have some help from his teammate(read wingman), Valtteri Bottas.
Earlier this weekend, it was made pretty clear that Bottas would follow team orders, if the scenario arose on raceday. And while nothing of that sort came up today, Bottas did help keep Kimi at bay for Hamilton to go on and win the Italian GP.
Mercedes had ordered Bottas to keep Kimi behind him during the grand prix. Kimi couldn’t find a way past Bottas and ultimately ended up damaging his tyres too in the dirty air from Bottas.
While the strategy did not initially work from Mercedes, as Hamilton came in behind Raikkonen, Bottas keeping Raikkonen involved for sometime did mess up Raikkonen’s tyre management, which ultimately helped Hamilton overtake Raikkonen towards the end of the race.
Arrivabene wasn’t impressed with Mercedes’ strategy and called out both Mercedes and Bottas with a rather insulting statement for the Finn.
“Valtteri would make a fine butler. We hire drivers, not butlers.” Arrivabene said.
''My mission was to hold up Kimi for a while.''
Bottas' mentality. Wow. That's not how a World Champion would ever think.
— James 🇮🇪 (@JOC__1991) September 2, 2018
Totally undeserved. Bottas should be embarrassed acting like Lewis pet. Mercedes should be ashamed using fake pitstop tactics and the FIA need to be investigated for treating teams differently (Verstappen time penalty 😠). Ruining racing, pure disgrace
— LornaRoche (@LornaRoche1) September 2, 2018