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Mercedes could enforce Bottas support role after Monza

  • Published on 27 Aug 2018 11:58
  • comments 3
  • By: Fergal Walsh

Toto Wolff says that it may place Valtteri Bottas in a support role for Lewis Hamilton after this weekend's Italian Grand Prix. The Finn currently sits 87 points behind his Mercedes teammate, who leads the driver's championship table.

Before the Belgian Grand Prix, Hamilton held a 24 point lead to rival Sebastian Vettel. However, a victory for Vettel at Spa-Francorchamps closed the deficit to 17 points. Bottas has also failed to pick up a victory so far this season, but has bagged five podiums.

Wolff admits that he would hate to put Bottas in the position, but says that it could end up backing Hamilton in the tight title battle: "I hate to do that. It’s completely against my racing instinct. We try to be very neutral to both drivers. We haven’t done it. We haven’t done it yet. We haven’t discussed it.

“Let’s see how Monza pans out and how it goes. Then we will address the question as to whether we need to put all force behind one driver. But at the moment, we owe it to the two men and to Formula 1 to not interfere into the race.”

Bottas' weekend at Spa was compromised before it got underway, with Mercedes confirming that he would be taking an engine grid penalty. Bottas started the Grand Prix from 17th, and managed to pick his way through the field to finish fourth.

“It was a very good performance,” said Wolff. “Obviously the wing didn’t help at the beginning but you can see how difficult it is to overtake. There was a stage at lap 10 or so where it was difficult to find his way through the field against cars that were maybe two seconds offset in pace.

“But overall, I’m really happy when he put the other tyre on, which wasn’t new, set the quickest lap time of the race at the end and finished in P4. I think this was the maximum to be achieved without the Safety Car mid-race, which I’m happy with.”

 

Fergal Walsh

Replies (3)

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  • He can hardly be more of a nr 2 driver than he already is, might aswell make it official, right Wolff? And if he hesitates, just stick him in that basement of your's. Worked wonders with Ocon in Monaco, didnt it, mr. 50 Shades of Wolff?

    • + 0
    • Aug 27 2018 - 17:32
  • f1dave

    Posts: 780

    Shows lack of confidence in Hamilton's ability to win on his own.

    • + 0
    • Aug 28 2018 - 00:47
  • Norbert

    Posts: 107

    Bottas has done everything right in my view. What will be will be and he's shown he knows what to do. So it hasn’t come to that question yet. Bottas is worrying about even being number 2. I would think he focuses on beating Raikkonen while it is still possible. It won't be easy with Ferrari/Raikkonen showing very fast now.

    • + 0
    • Aug 28 2018 - 13:29

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  • Team Mercedes
  • Points 1,260
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  • Country FI
  • Date of b. Aug 28 1989 (31)
  • Place of b. Nastola, FI
  • Weight 70 kg
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