Lewis Hamilton wins Russian Grand Prix 2018

Lewis Hamilton wins Russian Grand Prix 2018

Lewis Hamilton wins Russian Grand Prix 2018

Move over, Valtteri Whatever the tactical rights or wrongs of the decision to order Valtteri Bottas to allow Lewis Hamilton through to win the Russian Grand Prix, it has sparked fresh debate over team orders in Formula One.

The decision was made by Mercedes to let Hamilton through due to a concerning blister on Hamilton's left-rear tyre and the growing proximity of his title rival Sebastian Vettel.

Bottas continued to lead only for the former Williams driver, who started this race 110 points behind Hamilton, to be denied his opening win of the year after he was ordered aside.

By scoring maximum points at Sochi, Lewis Hamilton extends his lead over Sebastian Vettel in the World Driver's Championship to 50 points with five more races to go.

"I think the team was anxious about the blister Lewis had".

The blank faces at Mercedes summed up their feelings towards a decision it never wanted to make. Bottas, however, said he would not be willing to accept it.

Kimi Raikkonen can expect an emotional reception from his legion of Japanese fans in his final Suzuka race for Ferrari after learning last month that the team would not be retaining his services for 2019.

"I think after that maybe we could've stayed there the whole race".

Bottas left was told to let Mercedes team-mate Hamilton pass him
Bottas left was told to let Mercedes team-mate Hamilton pass himYEGOR ALEYEV GETTY IMAGES

A smiling Putin took the joke well, congratulating the reigning F1 champion and saying: "I'm accustomed to awarding you something each year, year after year... you're doing well".

Bottas acknowledges his own form this season is the reason he is not in the championship fight at this stage, and therefore had an impact on being asked to help Hamilton.

With the uncanny ability of Lewis to put his auto on pole, and that of Bottas to pull out the occasional superb lap, we believe that Ferrari's underdog story this season will continue as Vettel & Raikkonen will be forced to fight from underneath in order to make their way up through the ranks and take the victory on Sunday.

Although Hamilton won on Sunday, it was in controversial circumstances after his teammate Valtteri Bottas was asked to give up the lead of the race for him on lap 25.

In motorsport, team orders are instructions from the principle which demand drivers to stop racing competitively against each other as they would other teams' drivers.

Meanwhile, Mercedes team chief Toto Wolff has blamed himself for the "team orders" controversy that engulfed Hamilton's victory at the Russian GP.

With damaged tyres, they were anxious Hamilton could lose second place to Vettel, and having Bottas in between them acted as a buffer to protect Hamilton. "I definitely don't think I have finished first in my career, and feel the way that I do right now".

3 - After Toro Rosso's double DNF, only Ferrari, Renault and McLaren remain as the only teams not to have suffered one in 2018.

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