Bottas keen to avoid repeat of Singapore tactical error

Lewis Hamilton left the pits still ahead of Valtteri Bottas in Singapore following team orders, and the Finn wants to ensure that it doesn't happen again.

Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas   -  Getty Images

Valtteri Bottas revealed he spoke to Mercedes over its team orders in Singapore and said he was determined not to be put in a similar situation again ahead of the Russian Grand Prix.

The Finn was told to slow down last weekend to ensure teammate Lewis Hamilton remained ahead of him after pitting as the team was fearful of the championship leader finishing behind both Bottas and Red Bull's Alexander Albon.

Hamilton and Bottas only came fourth and fifth respectively as Ferrari won a third successive race - Sebastian Vettel leading home Charles Leclerc - and Mercedes' move was criticised.

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Bottas declared himself "okay" with the strategy in the aftermath but, speaking on Thursday ahead of this weekend's race in Russia, admitted there had been discussions about such a decision.

"I'm not thinking about that any more coming to this weekend, but if you want to talk about it I can't go into details," Bottas said at a news conference.

"Obviously we always review everything by the finest detail with the team, and I was at the factory on Tuesday. We had meetings about that and that we'll keep just for us - whatever we've spoken about it.

 

"We have certain rules, both ways, they're equal. That's how it goes but I just need to make sure I'm not going to be in that kind of situation again."

Hamilton was also the beneficiary of team orders at last year's Russian Grand Prix as Bottas was ordered to move aside to allow the Briton to win, a result that proved crucial as he went on to clinch the title.

ALSO READ | 'We should have won in Singapore'- Lewis Hamilton

Bottas claimed his first Formula One win at the circuit in 2017 and acknowledged there is added confidence given his recent success in Sochi.

"We have a good mindset coming here, knowing that it's been good in the past," Bottas added.

"Just since the first year coming here I've found a good flow on the track and haven't really had many problematic corners or anything, so been on the pace.

"Obviously, there's always things I can do better this year than last year and that will be the aim."