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Brawn defends Mercedes team orders

  • Published on 02 Oct 2018 15:57
  • comments 11
  • By: Fergal Walsh

Formula 1 motorsport director Ross Brawn defended Mercedes' use of team orders during the Russian Grand Prix on Sunday. The German squad instructed driver Valtteri Bottas, who was leading the race, to move over and let teammate Lewis Hamilton by.

Bottas obliged and Hamilton went on to extend his championship lead to 50 points over Sebastian Vettel. Brawn is no stranger to team orders, having implemented them on many occasions throughout his career as a team boss.

“I reckon the German team’s decision was the right one," he said. “The primary aim for a team is to get the best possible result for both championships and that’s what they did.”

Brawn intervened when he worked for Mercedes in 2013, instructing Nico Rosberg to hold position and not overtake Hamilton during the Malaysian Grand Prix: “I have found myself in this situation many times in the past,” said Brawn. “Personally, I always believed the collective interest of the team comes before that of an individual driver.”

Brawn acknowledged that the decision did not go down well with the fans, but reiterated that team orders are a part of the sport: “In may not be easily accepted by the fans, nor look good for the sport, and that is where the team have to judge the circumstances and make their decision.

“I can understand Bottas’s frustration, as he had a great weekend, demonstrating how well the Sochi track suits him, but team-orders are part of the sport. Also, it’s always better to apply them in a transparent manner, rather than trying to hide it, something we have seen sometimes in the past, which raised accusations of deception. It’s not the most attractive aspect of our sport, but it’s always been a part of it, good or bad, and it is better to have it in the open.”

Replies (11)

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  • siggy74

    Posts: 194

    Transparent manner was to talk to both drivers before the GP, and then to change the stance to give the driver with the brown Pants ( as vettal was closing in).

    Not only that stance before the GP had set out swapping drivers and handing positions back..... But then to tell the guy that they would talk about after the event. was down right wrong.

    The fact still remains that swapping back in the last 2 laps would of kept the same amount of points for merc in the Constructors champs...

    And kept the 1-2 for the grandprix.

    Hamilton would of still been leading as before the grandprix... But then a battle for a championship well would expect to be less then 10 points... and wheel to wheel ;p

    • + 0
    • Oct 2 2018 - 19:49
    • It's not about points. It's about marketing. They consider Bottas as winner wasted opportunity. Hamilton is the star. They would rather retire Bottas and take Hamilton's victory over 1-2 finish in the "wrong" order.
      Their reactions during qualifying, when Bottas is in front are more than telling. They are dead silent and angry. They are getting paid to get Hamilton on pole and secure the win. It's their job, when it doesn't happen, they probably have to face consequences.

      • + 0
      • Oct 2 2018 - 20:28
    • I agree, it is all about the marketing. Another example is how the F1 official video feed showed Ver making his way through the field unopposed like it was some big challenge and spectacle of the ages while they didn't show but 1 of Danny Ric's overtakes in a broken car, which was arguably a more challenging and better executed drive, but Max driving a Red Bull is selling tickets across Europe while Ricciardo, well he's got his smile.

      • + 1
      • Oct 3 2018 - 02:40
    • boudy

      Posts: 1,168


      Ricciardo's overtakes were at an slower rate and the last places were made by the other cars going in the pits. Like you I did not see his overtakes and I would have loved to see them. Not sure how the Ric's damage was created but in my opinion the drive of Verstappen was far more impressive than Ricciardo's if compared.Eventually keeping an Mercedes behind and gaining so many places with such drive was great to see.

      • + 0
      • Oct 3 2018 - 08:10
  • [Toto Wolff, june 6, 2017, same driver pair:]
    “It will be about doing our homework right to give the drivers the car they need to succeed. We have two excellent drivers and we will hold true to our philosophy of letting them race each other to drive the team forward – even if sometimes it can be difficult because you can’t always have the one who is ahead in the Championship winning.”

    What a crock!!

    • + 1
    • Oct 2 2018 - 19:53
  • The level of absurdity on this issue reminds me of the faux outrage regarding the grid girls removal. This is a non-issue. Mercedes did exactly what any other team would have done under the same circumstances. Mercedes a long history of letting their drivers race each other. Finally, you could see that even though this was the obvious choice to make, they were all torn about it. You would not have seen Ferrari or Red Bull apologizing for favouring a particular driver.

    • + 0
    • Oct 2 2018 - 20:22
    • It isnt faux outrage, because regardless who does it, it isnt okay. Maybe it benefits their championship contender (while what they actually DID(!) to Bottas hinders his chances vs Kimi), but its scummy regardless of who does it, and I dont think its bad that people call them out on it. Shouldnt we say what we want from F1, just smile and take it up our hinies, like a CoD player on cocaine? "Enjoy the silence, fear the noise" is a thing, and its something that actually works. Status Quo Warfare wont make team orders go away.

      • + 0
      • Oct 2 2018 - 20:42
    • kngrthr

      Posts: 203

      Status Quo aren't the same since Ric died

      • + 0
      • Oct 3 2018 - 08:03
    • Never been a fan of Status Quo really, Im more for ACDC when it comes to classic hardrock... Man I wish I coulda seen them live back when all of them were alive... :/

      • + 0
      • Oct 3 2018 - 08:33
  • "like a CoD player on cocaine" I like disagreeing with you just for the creative responses.

    My point is that complaining about Mercedes constitutes barking at the wrong tree. Teams will use the rules to their advantage as they should. Complain about the legality of team orders instead, or their current structure. Teams are there to try to win.

    • + 0
    • Oct 2 2018 - 21:16
    • *bows* Im here to serve. ;)

      Fair enough, and I agree to an extent. However, barking at the FIA will probably have as much of an effect as I'd have if I tried to move a sea using just a spoon. The FIA themselves seem to barely care as it is, shouting directly at them wont do. The best way to get to them is to bark on notable and recent examples, point at it and yell "objections!".

      • + 0
      • Oct 3 2018 - 08:31

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