Mercedes to give Valtteri Bottas “soft landing” if replaced

20-08-2019 12:11
by Bevan Youl
Mercedes to give Valtteri Bottas “soft landing” if replaced

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff has said that where either Valtteri Bottas or potential replacement Esteban Ocon end up in 2020 should they not be chosen for the seat is a factor for the decision.

Much debate has been had over the past month or soas to who will partner Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes for the next season, with the decision Wolff has to make between Bottas and Ocon.
The Finn’s contract comes to an end this year while Ocon has sat in the reserve seat for the team after being dropped by SportPesa Racing Point.
But where the driver that doesn’t get picked ends up plays an influence on Wolff’s decision with other teams showing interest in the Frenchman.
Wolff said (quoted by "It absolutely plays a role.
"We have responsibility for the drivers, for the juniors and those who are in the car with us now.
We are not going to do anything that's going to make it harder for them.
"So whatever we decide we'll consider what are the options for the drivers to go elsewhere.
“If it's for Esteban to progress, to one day make it back into a Mercedes or for Valtteri to have a soft landing."
While the decision to make is a tough one the past few races haven’t been the best for Bottas after crashing out while chasing Lance Stroll in the mixed weather in Germany and taking damage to his front wing in Hungary on the opening lap.
But Wolff won’t let a single race determine his decision.
"We will not be letting one race result influence our decision," he added.
"It's more about compounding all the data and looking at it, making a decision on stability, a great personality and a very good driver versus giving youth a chance and opportunity in the car, and all the risks and rewards it can bring.”

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