Valtteri Bottas is under a ball of fire at Mercedes. Fans and Pundits alike are calling for his head after his showing in Sakhir. Even though it was George Russell’s debut race in the W11, he was outclassing the Finn for most of the race. If it wasn’t for a botched pit stop, the Englishman would’ve crossed the checkered flag wellhead of him.
Amidst all this, Mercedes Team Principal Toto Wolff is trying to reduce the heat on Bottas. Going up against the greatest driver of this era, Lewis Hamilton is no simple task. Hence, he has had to settle for being the second-best every time.
Throwing all his weight behind him, Wolff said, “He’s a hard, resilient guy.
“Losing a title is not something that is easy to digest, and it’s not expected to be easy to digest.
“But he has the unconditional support within the team, and I think from year to year it makes him more eager to win.”
“Winning against the best guy could probably be the biggest satisfaction that a racing driver could have. But that it takes its toll.”
Wolff was quick to point the support Bottas had from everyone within his circle ahead of the Abu Dhabi GP.
“All of us, I think it’s not only me, he has this unconditional support from everybody in the team.
“I think he’s able to pick himself up, and he has a family that does, and then he has his teammates, all of us.”
Yes, his journey with the Silver Arrows won’t last beyond the end of next season, but he has a contract for the next season. The team, too, will prefer to let him continue, given their dominance in the turbo-hybrid era. However, when new regulations set in 2022, they would want Russell next to Hamilton or maybe completely pass the baton over to him.
It’s written in the stars that Russell will be behind the wheel of Mercedes in the future. His talent was there to see for all in Sakhir. Sticking up with Bottas is the right call, for now, but having him over Russell any longer than that will be a grave injustice.