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- Updated: April 18, 2017
Following defeat in the Bahrain Grand Prix to Ferrari on Sunday, Formula One champions Mercedes are contemplating making a revision to their team orders.
Ferrari has started this season strongly with Sebastian Vettel registering his second win of the season in Bahrain with Lewis Hamilton finishing second to him.
Mercedes motorsport boss Toto Wolff has indicated that they may have to favour Lewis Hamilton increasingly over his new teammate Valtteri Bottas to counter the threat posed by Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel in context of the upcoming season.
When Wolff was asked if this would mean a shift from traditional policy of equality among drivers, he said, “The situation is quite different now with evenly matched drivers. So, it needs a proper analysis of what it means and where we are that moment.
“We’d like to give equal opportunity at the start of the race; I think we owe it to them. On Sunday’s race, we made the call; we made the call twice, because we felt it was the only possibility of winning the race.”
Wolff acknowledged that had Vettel not been between the two Mercedes, the team would have got Bottas out of Hamilton’s way far sooner than they actually did. “When you have a problem on the car like we had suggests that would have been an entirely different situation. In that case, we would have considered swapping the drivers but with a Ferrari in between, we couldn’t.
“Three races into the season, you don’t want to go there yet.”
Hamilton had been on pole for six races in a row until Bottas broke the sequence in Bahrain.
Following Sunday’s event, Hamilton stands second in the drivers’ championship with 61 points, seven behind Vettel. Bottas rounds off the top three with 38 points.
It’s all gearing up to be quite a season, isn’t it?