Wolff says he is ‘the baddie’ in ‘team orders’ controversy

“I don’t know, ask me again at the end of 2020”, he added when quizzed about his future.

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Wolff later told reporters he took full responsibility for the decision and would rather be the bad guy in Russian Federation than the idiot, should misfortune strike in coming races, at the end of the season.

The Finn ceded his position under instruction from the pit wall in Russian Federation last Sunday to gift Hamilton the victory that gave him a 50-point lead over Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel in the drivers’ standings.

With the drivers’ championship in mind, Mercedes acted on lap 25, telling Bottas to slow down and let Hamilton through at Turn 13, which he did.

Vettel now trails Hamilton by 50 points in the Drivers’ Championship, with just five races left in the 2018 season.

With damaged tyres, they were anxious Hamilton could lose second place to Vettel, and having Bottas in between them acted as a buffer to protect Hamilton.

However, team boss Toto Wolff stood by his decision, pointing out that Hamilton, who was visibly uncomfortable with the situation on the podium, now has a 50-point lead in the championship, meaning he could have the title wrapped up by the Mexican Grand Prix later this month.

“I think after that maybe we could’ve stayed there the whole race”.

“We got a 1-2 and fundamentally we are, but we also feel it went against Valtteri.

It’s a shame. I haven’t won a race this season and obviously (Sunday) was a possibility but like I said, I think for me the main thing is to remind how the performance was this weekend”.

“Right from Friday, the Sochi weekend was rather a hard one for us”, he said.

But just imagine how it would look if Vettel led a Ferrari one-two in each of those five races while Hamilton was forced to come home third.

Hamilton then finished first with Bottas second and then the third place for Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel.

Hamilton suggested Ferrari were making a mistake in dispensing with the 2007 world champion, who was the last man to win the drivers’ title with the Maranello team.

“Despite all our efforts to find the ideal set-up, neither on Saturday nor in the race were we competitive enough to worry our closest rivals”.

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Hamilton reported engine “hesitations” but as those concerns appeared to ease he attacked Verstappen on lap 42, but the Red Bull driver defended his position before finally diving into the pits a lap later. “The worst case was the blister wouldn’t last until the end and Lewis would have been overtaken by Sebastian having to manage his tyres”. The Finn will move to Sauber for the next two seasons at least.

Bottas doesn't want favor returned by Mercedes