Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas started on the front row in Sochi today with the Ferrari duo starting on the second row behind them.
But it wasn’t the usual Hamilton on pole situation with Bottas trying to hold up the Ferraris behind him.
Bottas had qualified in pole position yesterday, with Hamilton slotting in behind him. And there was a lot of talk around the fact that Mercedes could indeed use team orders to switch the cars perhaps towards the end of the race.
Bottas made it clear in the post qualifying press conference that he would be going for the win, as that is the only thing that should be on one’s mind when they have qualified in pole position.
Toto Wolff had made it clear that it would be difficult to impose team orders, but a meeting would be held and all the possible options would be discussed.
However, as it happened during the race, Bottas was asked to let Hamilton pass, in order to prevent him from getting into a battle with Vettel.
Mercedes let Bottas know that the move had to be carried out as Hamilton had a small blister and was under pressure from Vettel.
Check out the video:
— MARCO ROSSI (@MARCORO85689092) September 30, 2018
Twitter too wasn’t quite impressed with what had just transpired.
Bottas on the radio: “I was gonna go faster next lap”
— hyly @#RussianGP🏎️🌴 (@HayleyMulch) September 30, 2018
LAP 25/53: And on @MercedesAMGF1 team orders, Bottas lets Hamilton through
— Formula 1 (@F1) September 30, 2018
Hamilton: “I’ve got hesitations in my engine”
Me: please blow up and let Bottas win
— Matt Gallagher (@xMattyG) September 30, 2018
Bottas was told to move for Hamilton in Bahrain 2017
He was left out long in Spain to hold up Vettel
He was told to not race Hamilton in Germany 2018
He was used to hold up Vettel in Hungary
He was called a wingman by Toto Wolff
He’s been told to move over again today
— David 🌐 (@CRL_Stone) September 30, 2018
Bottas: “Really hope I can win this race”
— 🏁 Dan Rigsby 🏁 (@Dan_Rigsby) September 30, 2018
Bottas should have been like “what? What’s that I can’t hear you? I’m going through a tunnel..kkssshhh. ksssshhh. Hello??” #RussianGP
— Chain Bear F1 (@chainbearf1) September 30, 2018
— Jennie Gow (@JennieGow) September 30, 2018
— Luke Smith (@LukeSmithF1) September 30, 2018