Wolff says Bottas must "justify" his place

21-12-2018 15:09
by Adam Newton
General
Wolff says Bottas must justify his place

It seems quite clear that after next season, Valtteri Bottas will be leaving Mercedes, unless he produces an incredible performance, with Esteban Ocon waiting in the wings to take his seat.

Bottas had an underwhelming 2018, failing to win a race and faded awfully towards the end of the season, barely challenging his team mate Lewis Hamilton.

And now his team boss Toto Wolff seems to have put his future in doubt.

Wolff told Reuters: "Every racing driver in a Formula 1 car has to look over his shoulder. It is a very brutal sport where only the best ones survive and they are very well aware.

"They have made the selection of the top 20 racing drivers in the world and every single year they have to justify that they deserve the place. It is not only valid for Valtteri but all the others as well."

Despite this, Wolff has said that Bottas was unlucky in 2018 and thinks that he has the ability and potential to come back stronger in 2019.

"Valtteri is a fierce warrior and he wouldn't be where he is today if he was not an outstanding racing driver," he added.

"I think he absolutely embraces the challenge of being team mate and competitor to Lewis Hamilton.

"I think where things have gone wrong with Valtteri in 2018 was that he was very unlucky. He could have, should have — but that doesn't count — won three races."

That would complicate things, if Bottas has a strong 2019!

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