Toto Wolff has always emphasized that first of all he will never sit at the command post and second of all he will never interfere in the boxing radio during the sessions. The race engineers and chief strategists can do this better than he did, was his credo. In this respect, it seemed strange when he suddenly reported to Valtteri Bottas before the all-important Q3 round: Everything you have, Valtteri!” p>
When the boss speaks in person, it must mean something, many thought. And whether the critical tone that Wolff himself had spoken to Bottas in the past few days interpreted the radio call as a declared threat: Better get the pole, Valtteri, or you’re out and George Russell is in! p>
But this is nonsense: “When I talked to Valtteri about how we can improve our communication, he said he wanted a more open discussion and that even if he sat in the car he would welcome it,” explains Wolff.
“I asked:’Are you sure? Do I not disturb you while driving?’But he replied:’No, not at all, I can do that.’ And frankly, I’ve thought about it for a long time anyway,”says the Austrian.
Wolff:”I’ve always had a hard time with this…”
Normally we have very strict intercom protocols. And I remember when I was a racing driver myself, people always got on my nerves, who still leaned into the cockpit to shake my hand before I got out.”
But after the two Bahrain races, an open discussion was held internally, how communication could be improved, and apparently it was not only a question of adapting the intercom protocols and excluding possible overlaps for the future.
It was also talked about being nice to each other. Mode Operandi will continue to take precedence over everything that is important for the session or race.” That’s why I’ve never reported to Boxenfunk before, unless it was absolutely necessary,”explains Wolff.
But:”We’ve been talking about different things in the last few days,”explains Bottas.”We’ve been talking about different things.” We are a team and we support each other. If you can help someone with words to build, you can. I would, too. That’s all there is to it. I think it’s something personal.”
The pressure on the Finns after Bahrain 2 has increased. Even Wolff poured oil into the fire when he criticized and attested that Bottas was “und er immense pressure”. Before Abu Dhabi, Ralf Schumacher also analyzed that he believed Mercedes had already decided against Bottas and for Russell.
“Last weekend,” Wolff says, “it was all about George. George had nothing to lose, Valtteri had nothing to gain. I talked to Valtteri about this very well and very intelligently. It wasn’t a Heureka moment for me to talk to him on the radio right now. But I understand his situation, and we have decided to talk to each other more.”
“Motorsport-Total.com”asks: After the media speculations (not only) fuelled by Schumacher that Bottas could be exchanged, there would not be a good time, to put an end to all rumors and simply without holding any back doors that Bottas will also sit 2021 in the Mercedes?
Wolff confirms Bottas for 2021! h2>
Wolff gets involved and replies: “He will sit in our car. I hereby confirm it. We have a contract with Valtteri, and he will be racing next year. You have to step into a pretty sensitive place pretty hard for me to throw my loyalty overboard. And I am loyal to my two racers.”
That was”also true for our junior drivers. George has done a phenomenal job. He deserves to be in a great car one day. He has a contract with Williams for another year. They were very flexible when they gave George to Williams. Everything goes its way. But calmly and structurally.”
That Bottas had been unsure, Wolff can now understand, after the clarifying conversation:”You have this incredibly fast teammate who has already won seven World Championships. And Valtteri has shown great achievements: the first race in Austria won, stood on poles a few times, and he could have won even more races without red flags and tire damage.”
Imola then gave the Finns the rest:”If you lose again, if you had bad luck in the whole World Cup anyway, Then it feels really bad. And then it can happen that a driver sometimes slips into a bubble in which he feels that everything is conspiring against him.”Which of course would never have been the case…