Toto Wolff, the CEO of Mercedes, outlines how Valtteri Bottas can keep his position in 2022.
Valtteri Bottas is off to a shaky start in the 2021 season.
Toto Wolff, the Mercedes team principal, has proposed a simple approach for Valtteri Bottas to secure his position for next season. The 31-year-future old’s with Mercedes has been the subject of constant conjecture, especially after the events of the French Grand Prix.
After being passed by Red Bull Racing’s Max Verstappen in Sunday’s race, Bottas unleashed a radio diatribe, escalating tensions between him and his team.
He appealed with Mercedes to pursue a two-stop strategy, but the team refused, leaving him reeling.
Bottas is off to his worst start to a season since joining Mercedes in 2017.
He hasn’t finished in the top two in any of the seven races he’s competed in so far this season, and he’s currently fifth in the Formula One World Drivers’ Championship.
In the midst of open conflict with Bottas, Wolff has emphasized that the only way the Finland native can quell speculation about his future is to produce when it counts.
“I believe Valtteri [Bottas] understands that the best way to dispel these rumors is to perform on the track.
“On Saturday and Sunday, drive fast cars. He puts himself in a very strong position for next year if he achieves that.”
After teammate Lewis Hamilton outperformed Bottas in tyre management at the French Grand Prix, Wolff supported Bottas.
Bottas dropped behind in the latter stages, but Hamilton was still capable of hammering off laps head-to-head with eventual winner Verstappen.
“To be honest, I still think [Bottas] delivered a good race,” Wolff said.
“For the most part, he was right up there with Lewis and Max, and the development is going in the correct direction.
“Yes, there is still a tyre management gap, and we will investigate it more.
“However, I see a clear growth in Valtteri’s approach to the races, and qualifying was never a question.”
Many assume Bottas’ time with Mercedes is coming to an end because to his early-season problems and apparent animosity with the organization.
It’s been suggested that he swap positions with George Russell, paving the way for a return to Williams, where he began his F1 career.
However, Wolff has made it very plain how Bottas can keep his seat at Mercedes for the duration of the 2021 season.
Bottas is planning a “Brinkwire Summary News” in response to his remarks.