Did ‘team orders’ cost Williams the win?

Jul.6 (GMM) After launching off the grid and into the lead, Williams was left to rue an opportunity lost in Sunday’s British grand prix.

Part of the reason the Silverstone race was so exciting was because Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas got a surprise jump on the two Mercedes at the start.

But then came the ‘team orders’.

Williams told the charging Bottas to hold station rather than attack Massa’s leading car, even though some believe the Finn would have raced into the distance had he been free to do so.

“At the beginning I had good pace,” Bottas told the Finnish broadcaster MTV3, “and at one point I would have been able to get past (Massa) but the team told me not to.”

Ultimately, through the pitstops and the inclement weather, the white-clad pair finished not only behind the two Mercedes but even Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel.

Bottas thinks the team may have made a clear tactical mistake.

“We will have to look at whether we should have made different decisions,” he said. “I don’t want to criticise team decisions as I guess there was a reason for it. I just don’t know what,” he added.

Bottas, 25, clarified to Turun Sanomat newspaper that he did not want Massa to receive a ‘team order’ to move over.

“That is not racing,” he said. “But it would have been nice to be able to overtake him when I had the opportunity.”

Pat Symonds, Williams’ highly experienced technical chief, said the early instruction was given to Bottas to “make sure we didn’t slow each other down”.

“Valtteri felt faster, and maybe he was,” the Briton acknowledged.

Bottas admitted: “I can see why the team wanted us to avoid fighting each other at that moment. We were in a strong position and fighting could have cost us time. That’s what they thought.

“For me it was disappointing, but of course it is easy to say that afterwards,” he added.

Team deputy Claire Williams agreed that hindsight is always perfect.

“It is easy to look at the race afterwards and say what you would do differently,” she said. “We did what we thought would be best for the team.

“The guys on the pitwall are not sitting there thinking about how to destroy races.”

As for what might have happened if Bottas had been freed, Williams added: “I don’t know. What you do have to say is that the Mercedes is a great car that at the moment is faster than ours.”

Related News

  • 16/07/2015 Bottas forever ‘grateful’ to Williams Jul.16 (GMM) Valtteri Bottas says he will always be "grateful" to Williams for bringing him into formula one. The Finn was speaking amid ever-growing speculation that he is first in line […]
  • 05/07/2015 Raikkonen not happy despite race seat boost Jul.5 (GMM) Kimi Raikkonen insisted he took no joy or repose from his performance on Saturday. Under severe pressure to up his game or lose his Ferrari seat, the Finn outqualified his […]
  • 10/07/2015 Massa should have moved over for Bottas – Hakkinen Jul.10 (GMM) Valtteri Bottas should have been waved through to boost Williams' victory hopes in the British grand prix. That is the view of retired two-time world champion Mika Hakkinen. […]
  • 24/10/2015 Hurricane could ruin US and Mexican grands prix Oct.24 (GMM) As rain streamed down and lightening spooked those cowering in the grandstands, F1 was forced to cancel the second Friday practice session in Austin. One question it raised […]
  • 22/07/2015 Teams set to scrap behind Mercedes in Hungary Jul.22 (GMM) Williams might have to take a back seat in Hungary this weekend, despite dicing with Mercedes for victory last time out. And for its part, Ferrari is hoping Silverstone was […]
  • 08/09/2015 Ferrari budget leaving Williams behind – Symonds Sep.8 (GMM) Ferrari is now leaving Williams behind in the 2015 pecking order, and the British team knows why. "It is easy to explain," said Williams technical boss Pat Symonds. At […]
  • 04/07/2015 Teams not confirming ‘mini-GP’ race format shakeup Jul.4 (GMM) Team bosses at Silverstone were reluctant to confirm the details of a race weekend format shakeup that could save the increasingly slated sport. Information leaked to […]
  • 20/07/2015 Williams signs Massa for 2016 season – report Jul.20 (GMM) Williams has taken up its contract 'option' on Felipe Massa for the 2016 season. That is the claim of Diario Motorsport, a specialist Portuguese publication that in 2013 […]
  • 09/07/2016 Williams duo plays down Raikkonen news impact Jul.9 (GMM) Williams' two drivers say a new contract for Kimi Raikkonen does not affect their own next moves in F1. Williams deputy boss Claire Williams said at Silverstone that the […]
  • 02/05/2016 Raikkonen unsure about future beyond 2016 May 2 (GMM) The pressure on Kimi Raikkonen is mounting. The Finn, whose Ferrari contract runs out this year, opened his 2016 podium account on Sunday but boss Maurizio Arrivabene hinted […]