Toto Wolff admits Valtteri Bottas was ‘robbed’ of extra Mercedes victory

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff has said he “robbed” a victory away from Valtteri Bottas during his time with the team.

Bottas has said his final goodbyes to the Silver Arrows having spent five seasons as Lewis Hamilton’s team-mate and helping Mercedes continue their mighty run of winning the Constructors’ Championship every year since 2014.

But, before Bottas headed off into the sunset and started to think about life as an Alfa Romeo driver, he sat down with Mercedes boss Toto Wolff one last time to discuss the stats he accumulated during his time with the team.

10 wins. 58 podiums. 19 pole positions.

It has been an incredible five years of racing for @ValtteriBottas with @MercedesAMGF1 👏#KiitosValtteri – we look forward to seeing what successes your next adventure brings you 💙🤍 pic.twitter.com/itJggxBBpv

— PETRONAS Motorsports (@PET_Motorsports) December 20, 2021

The key stats were all penned onto a special farewell race helmet by Bottas, with one of the last areas discussed being race wins.

That brought back a rather unpleasant memory, the infamous “Valtteri, it’s James” radio message as the Finn was forced to obey team orders so that Lewis Hamilton could take the victory at the 2018 Russian Grand Prix.

“[You have] 10 wins,” Wolff said in discussion with Bottas during their final sit-down.

“Plus Sochi so 11. Or was there another one?”

Bottas replied: “There was a few where I was robbed.

Wolff: “Yes but this one [Sochi] was really robbed.”

Bottas: “Yeah but there were others like Baku where I got the puncture on the last lap…those kind of things.”

Wolff: “Ok this was a DNF, but the one that I robbed was Sochi so put 10 plus 1.”

 

Wolff then suggested the door will remain open to Bottas for a potential return to Mercedes in the years to come.

The Mercedes boss said: “Well maybe you go on a little bit of a sabbatical with Alfa Romeo and then we see how many more [numbers] we can add.

Bottas responded: “The speed of this sport…you never know what comes ahead of you. At least I know for the next few years but you never know [after that].”

Relating back to the team orders at Sochi in 2018, Bottas did say earlier in the year that incident alone was nearly enough for him to completely quit Formula 1.

 

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