Mercedes Formula 1 boss Toto Wolff has clarified the team’s radio communication with Valtteri Bottas regarding the use of an engine mode to attack teammate Lewis Hamilton during the Belgian Grand Prix.

In the early exchanges of Sunday’s 44-lap race at Spa-Francorchamps, Bottas was heard asking if he had “one push” in a bid to try and catch Hamilton as he looked to get within DRS range.

Although Bottas’ race engineer confirmed he did have the mode available to use, he reminded the Finn that “we agreed not to use it against each other”.

Bottas replied: “I don’t remember that.”

Hamilton ultimately cruised to his fifth victory of the 2020 season as Bottas completed a Mercedes 1-2 ahead of Max Verstappen’s Red Bull.

Wolff explained after the race that Mercedes had agreed with its drivers to limit the use of the high-performance modes in case they needed to defend from Verstappen.

“There’s no rules in place between the two drivers,” Wolff said. “They are allowed and free to race.

“In the morning we agreed and discussed that we obviously have a limited amount of overtakes and that we would try not to use them against each other, or the last one against each other, because there is always the risk of needing it against Max or any other car.

“This is what we were referring to and with Valtteri, obviously, this was maybe a miscommunication between him and some of the guys. And that is why we reiterated it.”

After losing ground to Bottas for the sixth consecutive race, the Finn now finds himself 50 points adrift of Hamilton in the world championship standings.

Bottas remains behind Verstappen in third spot, though he has closed to within three points of the Red Bull driver.