Dec.12 (GMM) Toto Wolff has played down claims Mercedes is already eyeing Valtteri Bottas’ 2019 replacement.
Despite a solid start to his first year in silver and securing a new deal for 2018, Bottas is rumoured to have been earmarked for replacement in 2019 by Mercedes junior Esteban Ocon.
Team boss Wolff denies it.
“Esteban is one of our drivers and is therefore in the picture, but the team and all of its strength is behind Valtteri,” he told Turun Sanomat newspaper.
“If we to start thinking about other drivers, it would mean that the emotional side would not be 100 per cent for Valtteri,” Wolff added.
“I can assure you, from the board to every team member, we all want Valtteri to succeed,” he said. “Together with Lewis, he is our driver and we do not think of any others.”
Wolff said Bottas did well to adapt quickly to life at Mercedes, after Nico Rosberg’s shock decision to quit F1 immediately after winning the 2016 title.
“Valtteri just has to understand what he missed during the weekends when he lost out to Lewis, and on the other hand understand his strength of those weekends when he beat his teammate, for example in Sochi,” Wolff said.
“Valtteri has it all. He just has to get the whole package together,” he added.
25/05/2018 Bottas wants two-year Mercedes deal May 25 (GMM) Valtteri Bottas has admitted he would like a two-year deal if Mercedes extends his stay beyond 2018. So far, the Finn has been on single-year contracts after he was signed […]
08/07/2017 Wolff rules out Ocon for Mercedes in 2018 Jul.8 (GMM) Toto Wolff has ruled out signing up Esteban Ocon to replace Valtteri Bottas for 2018. Currently, while happy with Bottas' performance at Mercedes this year after he replaced […]
22/07/2016 Mercedes eyes ‘next generation’ after Rosberg Jul.22 (GMM) Mercedes could be ready to look to the "next generation" of drivers by the time Nico Rosberg's new two-year deal ends. That was the claim on Friday of Toto Wolff, as he […]
13/11/2016 Eyes turn to the skies for Brazil title fight Nov.13 (GMM) Eyes are turning to the skies as a decisive day in the 2016 world champion prepares to dawn in Brazil. If Nico Rosberg wins at Interlagos, he will be the world champion, but […]
26/06/2018 Mercedes ready to announce 2018 drivers Jun.26 (GMM) Mercedes now appears ready to announce its 2018 driver lineup. At Paul Ricard, Lewis Hamilton gave the strongest indication yet that his long-delayed new contract with […]
12/01/2016 Zetsche happy with Mercedes’ driver lineup Jan.12 (GMM) Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche says he is perfectly happy with Mercedes' F1 driver duo. Team boss Toto Wolff warned recently that if the bitterness of the rivalry between Lewis […]
16/02/2016 Wehrlein, Ocon to share Mercedes reserve role Feb.16 (GMM) Pascal Wehrlein and Esteban Ocon will share the role as Mercedes' reserve driver in 2016. Last year, as he charged towards the DTM title, it was Wehrlein who would have […]