Toto Wolff: One race won’t determine Valtteri Bottas’ future
Toto Wolff expressed sympathy with Valtteri Bottas over the Finn’s Hungarian Grand Prix plight and stressed one race will not determine Mercedes’ 2020 plans.
Bottas started from the front row of the grid at the Hungaroring but was overtaken through Turn 2 by team-mate Lewis Hamilton.
The Finn's lost momentum left him susceptible to the Ferrari drivers and on the run to Turn 4 he made contact with Charles Leclerc.
That brush resulted in front-wing damage for Bottas and he was forced into an early pit stop that compromised the remainder of his race.
Bottas eventually fought back to eighth place but is now 62 points behind Hamilton in the standings.
“He was so pumped after his qualifying, his performance was brilliant and he was in the right space of mind before the race,” said Wolff.
“But the unfortunate incident of flat spotting the tyre, touching with Lewis, touching with Leclerc, within a lap all the hard work is gone. And that’s just awful for him. I’m sorry for him.”
Mercedes is set to spend the summer break evaluating whether to retain Bottas or promote long-term junior and ex-Manor/Force India racer Esteban Ocon from his current role of reserve driver.
“We will not let one race result influence our decision its more about compounding all data and looking at it and making a decision,” stressed Wolff.
“It’s stability and a great personality and a great driver versus giving youth a chance in the car with all the rewards and risks it can bring.
“We will start the process [this week] and it’s not going to be an easy one.”