Wolff vows to handle Bottas contracts "better" in future

Mercedes Formula 1 boss Toto Wolff says he can handle Valtteri Bottas’s contractual situation “better” in the future, after the Finn called his career-long uncertainty “a pain in the ass”.

Wolff vows to handle Bottas contracts "better" in future

Bottas has been retained by Mercedes for 2020, which will extend his spell with the team to at least four seasons, but was made to wait on a decision by Wolff over whether to keep Bottas or promote Esteban Ocon alongside Lewis Hamilton.

Since joining Mercedes in 2017, Bottas’s future has been decided on a year-by-year basis, and he admitted it has had an effect on him after missing out on this year’s title as teammate Hamilton clinched a sixth championship at the United States Grand Prix.

“There was definitely uncertainty for 2020 at some point,” said Bottas. “Lots of rumours.

“I had no idea what was going to happen. I just had to wait. As an athlete, as a driver, it’s not an ideal situation.

“You can’t be completely with peace of mind and focus on the job and feel mentally free and in the right place.

“It’s tricky. When that continues, year after year, every single year of your career, at some point it’s getting a pain in the ass.

“It’s definitely nice to get the contract signed. But, it’s going to be the same story next year.

“I’m not too worried at this point because the pace is good, I enjoy the driving, I enjoy working with the team and hope they appreciate that as well.”

Read Also:

Bottas’s extension with Mercedes was announced ahead of the Belgian Grand Prix, when F1 returned from its summer break.

Prior to that Bottas had scored four pole positions and two wins from 12 races, but trailed teammate Hamilton by 62 points in the championship after crashing out in Germany and then breaking his front wing on the first lap in Hungary.

In the seven races since the break and his future was confirmed, Bottas has not claimed any poles but has scored another two victories and trimmed Hamilton’s advantage to 57 points.

Bottas is enjoying the strongest end to a season in his four years with Mercedes but Wolff believes there will be a benefit to improving how he manages the contractual process next year.

Both Hamilton and Bottas will need new deals beyond 2020, while Ferrari's drivers and Red Bull's Max Verstappen will also be on the market. 

“With Valtteri there is a better way to deal with that,” said Wolff. “Now, in retrospect, you can say it probably had an effect. And I will try to consider that, and make a better job in that respect. 

"I think 2021 the door is wide open, no drivers are contracted to any team, that’s super exciting, and I guess that the driver carousel is going to start pretty soon.”

shares
comments
Massa: Leclerc could win first title before Verstappen
Previous article

Massa: Leclerc could win first title before Verstappen

Next article

What next for Lewis Hamilton after F1 retirement?

What next for Lewis Hamilton after F1 retirement?
Inside AlphaTauri’s Faenza F1 factory Prime

Inside AlphaTauri’s Faenza F1 factory

AlphaTauri’s mission in F1 is to sell clothes and train young drivers rather than win the championship – but you still need a cutting-edge factory to do that. Team boss Franz Tost takes GP Racing’s Oleg Karpov on a guided tour of a facility that’s continuing to grow.

Connecting two of Ferrari's favourite F1 sons: Villeneuve and Leclerc Prime

Connecting two of Ferrari's favourite F1 sons: Villeneuve and Leclerc

Gilles Villeneuve's exploits behind the wheel of a Ferrari made him a legend to the tifosi, even 40 years after his death. The team's current Formula 1 star Charles Leclerc enjoys a similar status, and recently got behind the wheel of a very special car from the French-Canadian’s career.

Formula 1
Jun 24, 2022
How a 30cm metal wire triggered open warfare in the F1 paddock Prime

How a 30cm metal wire triggered open warfare in the F1 paddock

Porpoising has become the key talking point during the 2022 Formula 1 season, as teams battle to come to terms with it. An FIA technical directive ahead of the Canadian Grand Prix and a second stay appearing on the Mercedes cars only served to create a bigger debate and raise tensions further

Formula 1
Jun 23, 2022
Does Max Verstappen have any weaknesses left? Prime

Does Max Verstappen have any weaknesses left?

Having extended his Formula 1 points lead with victory in Canada, Max Verstappen has raised his game further following his 2021 title triumph. Even on the days where Red Bull appears to be second best to Ferrari, Verstappen is getting the most out of the car in each race. So, does he have any weaknesses that his title rivals can exploit?

Formula 1
Jun 22, 2022
How F1's future fuels can shape the automotive sector Prime

How F1's future fuels can shape the automotive sector

In 2026, Formula 1 plans to make the switch to a fully sustainable fuel, as the greater automotive world considers its own alternative propulsion methods. Biogasoline and e-fuels both have merit as 'drop-in' fuels but, equally, both have their shortcomings...

Formula 1
Jun 21, 2022
The breakthrough behind Sainz's best weekend of F1 2022 so far Prime

The breakthrough behind Sainz's best weekend of F1 2022 so far

OPINION: Carlos Sainz came close to winning in Monaco but needed that race’s specific circumstances for his shot at a maiden Formula 1 victory to appear. Last weekend in Canada, he led the line for Ferrari in Charles Leclerc’s absence from the front. And there’s a key reason why Sainz has turned his 2022 form around

Formula 1
Jun 21, 2022
Why “faster” Ferrari couldn’t beat Red Bull in Canadian GP Prime

Why “faster” Ferrari couldn’t beat Red Bull in Canadian GP

On paper the Canadian Grand Prix will go down as Max Verstappen’s latest triumph, fending off late pressure from Carlos Sainz to extend his Formula 1 world championship lead. But as safety car periods, virtual and real, shook up the race Ferrari demonstrated it can take the fight to Red Bull after recent failures.

Formula 1
Jun 20, 2022
Canadian Grand Prix Driver Ratings 2022 Prime

Canadian Grand Prix Driver Ratings 2022

Plenty of high scores but just a single perfect 10 from the first Montreal race in three years, as Max Verstappen fended off late pressure from Carlos Sainz. Here’s Autosport’s assessment on the Formula 1 drivers from the Canadian Grand Prix

Formula 1
Jun 20, 2022