Wolff explains Bottas radio message, ensures 2021 drive

Mercedes workforce boss Toto Wolff has confirmed Valtteri Bottas will stay on the workforce in 2021 and defined his radio message to the Finnish driver throughout qualifying is a part of a brand new model of communication between the 2.

Wolff opened his workforce radio forward of Bottas’ last lap in qualifying to inform his driver, “give all of it you might have, Valtteri”. Bottas went on to qualify second behind Max Verstappen, beating teammate Lewis Hamilton 0.05s

The Finnish driver has come beneath strain previously week after he was outperformed Hamilton’s alternative on the Sakhir Grand Prix, George Russell.

The Mercedes workforce boss defined that talks this week together with his driver had led to a Bottas requesting extra demonstrations of assist from Wolff sooner or later.

“It is tough as a result of I’ve no means talked to the drivers as a result of I’ve felt from my expertise [as a driver] that it is a bit distracting however all people is completely different,” Wolff mentioned. “With him, we had an excellent speak, and, clearly when the championship was misplaced [to Hamilton] it is all the time tough to deal with that, and that is why he mentioned ‘let’s speak somewhat bit extra’

“Each driver is completely different and we have now strict intercom protocols that we observe and I keep in mind after I was a racing driver I used to be aggravated the fellows who lean over into the cockpit and shake my hand earlier than I acquired going. In that respect, I’ll all the time — and the workforce will all the time — modify to the motive force’s modus operandi.

“That is why I’ve no means been on the radio except we have now a important scenario within the race.

“What I mentioned with Valtteri is how we may enhance our communication and he mentioned he needed a extra open dialogue and communication, even whereas being within the automotive, as one thing he wish to entertain. I mentioned, ‘are you positive?’ as a result of I do not need to intrude together with his driving of the automotive, and he mentioned, ‘no, I am up for it and I have been fascinated about it for some time’.”

Requested in regards to the radio message, Bottas added: “He can all the time speak to us if he needs. Within the final days we had a chat about various things.

“You realize, we’re a workforce, we assist one another, as we really feel like. Should you can assist one other particular person within the workforce with encouragement or sure phrases you do it and I would do the identical for any workforce member. Nothing greater than that, I feel it is extra of a private factor.”

Russell’s sturdy efficiency as Hamilton’s substitute on the Sakhir Grand Prix led to solutions that the 22-year-old may exchange Bottas as early subsequent yr.

Nonetheless, Wolff confirmed that the contract Bottas signed for 2021 in August stays in place for subsequent season.

“He’ll be in our automotive [in 2021], I’m here confirming it,” Wolff mentioned. “We have now a contract with Valtteri and he’s going to race for us subsequent yr.

“You must kick me fairly exhausting in a delicate zone for me to ever lose my loyalty. I’m loyal to my two race drivers in the identical approach I’m loyal to our junior drivers.

“George did an exceptional job final weekend and he deserves to be in an ideal automotive sooner or later. He has a contract with Williams for yet one more yr they usually have been very versatile and accommodating in giving George to Mercedes this different weekend.

“The whole lot goes to go its approach, however calmly and in a structured approach.”

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