‘Bottas needs the tick of a killer’

Date published: November 15 2017

Although Toto Wolff has defended Valtteri Bottas’s Brazilian GP drive, he concedes the Mercedes driver is still lacking that “killer” instinct.

Bottas fell from first to second on the opening lap at Interlagos as he was unable to make his pole position count against Sebastian Vettel.

Flying the flag alone at the front for Mercedes given Lewis Hamilton’s pitlane start, Bottas never once looked set to challenge the Ferrari driver for the lead or the win.

He came home in second place, losing further ground to Vettel in the race for runner-up in the championship.

“I think Lewis the whole year has been rock and roll, and Valtteri has recovered slowly but still needs the tick of a killer,” said Wolff.

“But you must not underestimate that in traffic against the Ferraris it was pretty difficult.

“You can see that at the end, when Ferrari switched the engine on, there was not much difference between the cars. Therefore you cannot expect easy overtakes.”

He added: “Valtteri had a solid race. He lost it at the start.

“The initial getaway was good but there was too much wheelspin through the gears and if the gap is so close between the cars then there is not a lot in it.

“Our undercut was a little move of desperation because we couldn’t get too close, and we knew that probably it lacked half a second – but nevertheless we gave it a go and the result was as expected.”

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