Bottas says team orders “worst thing to hear” but “completely understands”

Bahrain Grand Prix – Valtteri Bottas says he is sympathetic of Mercedes asking him to let Hamilton past in Bahrain, even if he did not want to.

The Finn was asked to move aside for his team mate following the first round of pit stops, as Bottas was struggling for pace on the supersoft tyre.

He had to do so again after Hamilton made a late second stop, and was closing down leader Sebastian Vettel.

“Honestly as a racing driver it’s the worst thing you want to hear,” Bottas said in the post-race press conference.

“I did it because there was the potential Lewis could challenge Sebastian. In the end it didn’t happen but the team tried, which I completely understand.

“Personally it is tough, but that’s life. I didn’t have enough pace today and we need to find the reasons why that was.”

Toto Wolff told Sky Sports after the race that a generator failure on the grid meant Bottas’ tyres were over-pressured, which meant he was struggling with oversteer and degrading his tyres faster.

“I had to take everything out of the tyre and then the tyre life was shorter,” Bottas added.

“We were also a bit unlucky with the Safety Car pit stop, it was a bit slow because there was some traffic so I lost the place to Sebastian.

“The pace still wasn’t there in the second or third stint and the car didn’t feel as it did yesterday.”

Bottas finished the race in third, taking his second podium of the season.

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Chris Stevens

Chris is a member of the Autosport Academy and has been writing about motorsport professionally since 2015. He has been one of the top Formula E journalists since he went to Donington Park for pre-season testing a week after picking up his A-Level results.

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