Mercedes will discuss imposing team orders on Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas in the Russian Grand Prix, including how they should approach the first corner of the race.
Bottas will start Sunday’s race ahead of championship leader Hamilton, whose closest rival Sebastian Vettel is immediately behind him on the grid. The long run to the first braking zone at Sochi could leave the Mercedes pair vulnerable to the two Ferraris starting behind them.
Speaking to media including RaceFans after today’s qualifying session Wolff confirmed talks will be held tomorrow morning between the Mercedes drivers, management and senior engineers on how to co-ordinate their approach to the race.
“We are not in a part of the season where I would particularly enjoy the Mercedes racing each other at the front,” said Wolff. “As much as I hate to say it as a race fan but you need to calculate a little bit more at that stage.”
Hamilton goes into the race 110 points ahead of his team was 150 available, meaning Bottas could drop out of championship contention tomorrow. Wolff admitted Hamilton would prefer not to resort to using team orders.
“None of us actually likes it because we have seen it in the past from other teams and we have had that discussion between Nico [Rosberg] and Lewis. Lewis wouldn’t want it because he wants to go on his own and Valtteri doesn’t want it because he needs that win that he didn’t have this year.
“So it’s a very tricky decision to make and we’ll be discussing it tomorrow morning with both of them and as always come to a solution with the buy-in of everybody.”
Asked whether the discussions would include tactics for the first corner of the race, Wolff said: “Yes, probably. We’ll discuss it in the morning how we kind of see that.”
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