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Mercedes: Bottas will make 'another step' following mental setback

  • Published on 12 Oct 2018 13:24
  • comments 6
  • By: Fergal Walsh

Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff is expecting Valtteri Bottas to be a strong competitor in 2019 after his "mental setback" this season. The Finn has slipped into a support role for Lewis Hamilton and is aiding his teammate's push for a fifth world title.

Bottas is yet to win a race this season but came close recently in Russia, where he was leading the race ahead of Hamilton. However, Mercedes intervened with team orders and instructed Bottas to let Hamilton by for the good of the championship.

Wolff says that the situation is very tough for Bottas, but is expecting the former Williams driver to come back even stronger in 2019: “I think we have to remind ourselves that for a race driver who is channelling all his efforts into winning races and the championship, if you take that ability away from him, it would automatically cause a little bit of a mental setback.

"He [Bottas] says he hasn’t got that, but I believe that will play a little part of it," Wolff continued. “He is a tremendous team player, and I really cannot emphasise that enough. To give you an example, after Sochi in the evening we had a discussion.

“He said, ‘I completely understand why you did it and where the team’s coming from. If I were in your shoes, I would do exactly the same. I need to outperform Lewis at the beginning of the season and score more victories and put myself in a position to fight for the championship, so don’t worry about me’.

“I think Valtteri will get many more victories in his life and will go into his third season with Mercedes next year and will make another step. He will have learnt and improved and exceed himself as a strong challenger for the championship. That’s exactly what we want. That will come.”

Replies (6)

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  • boudy

    Posts: 1,168

    Nonsense you destroyed your second driver ... like massa he will never be the same, let alone better.

    • + 3
    • Oct 12 2018 - 13:35
  • He was used like a sink strainer. It makes sense for both parties to find an alternative employment.

    • + 0
    • Oct 12 2018 - 15:34
  • I'm sure Lewis will toss Bottas a pointless, shallow and insulting win in the next 3-4 races.

    Quite frankly I have no sympathy for Bottas any more, he was far FAR too quick to accept being a 'wingman' and simply a backup driver. He'll never be WDC, only a wingman. Shame Toto lacks the balls to put a decent racer in next to goldenboy.

    • + 0
    • Oct 12 2018 - 19:56
  • siggy74

    Posts: 194

    That could well be the trigger longer term for Bottas to move back to williams, and Ocon to be the wingman ;p

    Either way, Bottas has no real incentive to drive faster for Mercedes " to then be told to let the other guy past".

    • + 0
    • Oct 13 2018 - 10:19
  • siggy74

    Posts: 194

    That picture above Says it all " get your hand of my shoulder, before i break it " lol

    • + 1
    • Oct 13 2018 - 10:21
    • Nah, it's rather this:
      "I'm so glad to be second. I signed the wingman contract, but at least I'm allowed to stand on the podium, instead of driving a Williams at the back of the grid. I'm so happy! Now all I have to do is put an angry face expression and pretend that I'm mad!"

      • + 0
      • Oct 13 2018 - 10:30

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  • Team Mercedes
  • Points 1,338
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  • Country Finland
  • Date of b. Aug 28 1989 (31)
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