“Lap times starting to get similar”: Mercedes claims Hamilton-Bottas team orders were avoidable

During the Spanish Grand Prix, one of the key moments was when Valtteri Bottas was told to let his teammate Lewis Hamilton overtake him. The Finn, however, refused to let him pass.

Both drivers gave their opinion post-race on the situation. Hamilton said that he wasn’t even aware of any such orders. Mercedes has revealed that the entire fiasco was avoidable.

Mercedes’ Andrew Shovlin said that Hamilton would have passed Bottas eventually if things had gone differently the previous lap.

He said, “Valtteri is in his own race. One of the things we said to Valtteri was to try and build this gap to Leclerc. Although their lap times were starting to get more similar, as Valtteri’s tyres are wearing out.

“So he’s trying to push as fast as he can, he then got the message not to hold Lewis up.

“He would have been able to let him go by much more easily if Lewis had got DRS the lap before they actually pass.”

During that time, Hamilton was just over one second ahead of Bottas and missed out on the DRS by one-hundredth of a second. Had Hamilton managed to get the DRS, he would have gone past the Finn with ease.

Valtteri Bottas had significant tyre wear

The Finn’s tyres were already fading in his pursuit of the Ferrari. This led the Mercedes team to pit him earlier.

After a new set of tyres, he was able to sail past Charles Leclerc fairly easily. This would have reduced the time lost by both Hamilton and Bottas.

Both drivers are currently looking forward to the next race in Monte Carlo. The prominent street-style circuit has been a major hunting ground for Mercedes.

Let us know in the comments what you think!

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