The 2019 Formula 1 season kicked off in Melbourne this weekend, with Valtteri Bottas storming to a 20-second victory over the rest of the field.
This marked a positive change for Bottas after failing to win a single race last campaign, finishing fifth in the championship standings.
That wasn’t the only change on Sunday, however.
For the first time in the sport’s history, this season the person who sets the fastest lap, providing they are in the top ten, will receive an extra point towards their score.
Bottas achieved this, collecting the maximum 26 points that were available.
With Mercedes teammate Hamilton also gunning for the fastest lap throughout the race, team boss Toto Wolff has now revealed that the pair went against his pre-race orders.
“In the morning meeting when we talked about strategy, I forbade them to go for the fastest lap if we were running first, second or third,” Wolff stated, per Planet F1.
“They ignored me. All of them!
“I think it was a plot between the engineers and drivers, because the engineers were keen. I need to reconstruct the radio calls and how that happened.”
While his orders were disregarded, Wolff admitted that the overall result pleased him.
“At the end I’m very happy. Collecting that extra point I think is good.
“It’s entertaining. It’s a great new part of the spectacle.”
Despite his pleasure in the result, the Austrian did reinforce the risk element in Bottas and Hamilton’s actions.
“I believe that it’s taking risks. Especially when you’re aiming for the big points, should you go for the fastest lap?
With Bottas and Hamilton finishing first and second respectively, the atmosphere within the Mercedes camp is still very positive.
However, it will be interesting to see whether the drivers take more notice of Wolff’s instructions in Bahrain.