Hamilton surprised Ferrari haven’t used team orders more often | 2018 Japanese Grand Prix

Lewis Hamilton says he is surprised Ferrari have missed opportunities to use their drivers tactically in races this year.

Mercedes faced criticism after the Russian Grand Prix when Valtteri Bottas as ordered to let Hamilton to through, which ultimately handed victory to the championship leader.

Both teams have also used their drivers tactically at different stages in the season. However Ferrari haven’t always done so.

In Germany Sebastian Vettel, who has been Ferrari’s leading driver in the championship all year, complained for several laps about being stuck behind Kimi Raikkonen in the race. At Monza, Raikkonen out-qualified Vettel by running in his slipstream, and the pair were unable to prevent Hamilton passing Vettel at the start.

Hamilton stressed Mercedes have “only had team orders in that one race” but said “we’ve worked as a team in others.”

“There have been times when Valtteri’s not, for example, been in the top five and there’s been me and the Ferraris, and the Ferraris have worked together.

“The way they do that is they’ll stop one car which means then I’ll have to stop. So they have worked as a team in certain parts of the year but in crucial points like Monza, they haven’t.

“Is that a surprise? Yeah I think they’ve done that in the past. Why they’ve changed I don’t know.”

Vettel was unwilling to elaborate on the reasons behind Ferrari’s decision not to use their drivers tactically in some races when asked during today’s FIA press conference.

“Generally, I think it is a sensitive topic or subject, obviously for the reasons that we have seen after last weekend,” he said.

“I don’t think we have been in the same position as they have, probably, during the race, so I think it is more a question for the team and not for me.”

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2018 F1 season

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