On a day Lewis Hamilton extended his championship lead to 50 points and Mercedes opened a 53 point gap to Mercedes, despite his team claiming a 1-2, Toto Wolff was not exactly in the mood for celebrating.
The controversial decision to order Valtteri Bottas to move aside for his teammate, just 24-hours after the Finn took a dramatic pole, didn’t go down well with either driver or the fans.
Having told Bottas over the team radio that the matter would be discussed later – behind closed doors – Wolff admitted that though his heart wanted to see the Finn score his first win of the season, the harsh realities of the sport (business) said otherwise.
“You want to control everything,” he told Sky Sports, “and there are a million scenarios we discussed in the morning, but we had a different one in the race.
“So we need to take a step back, fly back home, analyse and see what do we learn from a day like today,” he added.
“We are all racers at heart and what we want to see is out-and-out racing and may the quickest man win,” he insisted. “Then we are a bunch of rational guys and we discuss things in the morning and then everything is different in the race. And this is what happened today.
“We should be over the moon with a 1-2 and fundamentally we are,” he admitted, “but we also feel that it went against Valtteri. It would have been a race win for him, and we changed it.
“It is deflating for the driver and it is deflating for a team. But there is a harsh reality also that on such a day you can extend the lead by seven points more, for a championship that has been very tough and very difficult at times and you have to take it and this is what we did today.”
The Austrian confirmed that the decision to invoke team orders was the result of Hamilton blistering his tyres.
“It was one lap too late with Lewis and he lost a position to Sebastian,” said Wolff. “This triggered, let’s call it the mess, because we came out behind Sebastian. Lewis needed to attack, and that caused the blister and that blister we needed to protect when Seb was all over him.”