Toto Wolff has highlighted what consequences Valtteri Bottas would have had to face if his actions at Barcelona lost Mercedes the race.
Since the start of the season, Bottas has been criticised for not living up to expectations and failing to give Lewis Hamilton a proper challenge. So at the Spanish Grand Prix, Bottas decided to have a go at his teammate.
Unfortunately, he couldn’t get the job done. The stunt also did not impress his team boss.
Wolff conceded that Bottas dodged a bullet because Hamilton ended up winning. However, he said there would have been consequences for the Finn’s delayed response to team order if Hamilton had failed to take P1.
Bottas got away with one
However, nothing happened since Hamilton clinched victory. Wolff, meanwhile, empathised with Bottas, being a racing driver himself.
“Racing drivers’ instincts are what they are,” he said. “We would have wished that maybe, because Lewis was on a totally different strategy, he would have come through faster, a bit quicker. But at the end, we scored the result.
“I can relate to Valtteri that he had a tough day again and you’re annoyed. If it would have lost the race, I would be more critical. But at the end it’s something we can learn of. And it goes both directions, and this is what we will be discussing, but in a very camaraderie-like way.”
During the race, the Mercedes team advised Bottas to ease up and avoid delaying Hamilton. Interestingly, though, Hamilton was not aware that the team instructed Bottas to move. The seven-time world champion thought they were engaged in a battle for the position.
Maybe Hamilton would have preferred that. It is still early in the season, and a title rivalry with Max Verstappen in very much in the making.