Toto Wolff was “very impressed” with Valtteri Bottas’ first outing as a Mercedes driver, the Finn third at the Australian Grand Prix.
Although Bottas was unable to match his new team-mate Lewis Hamilton in Saturday’s qualifying in Melbourne, P3 to the Brit’s P1, he made inroads during the grand prix.
The Finn chased down Hamilton in the closing stages of the 57-lap grand prix but, having got within 1.8s, found his progress stalled.
As such Bottas brought his W08 home in third place, right behind Hamilton, with both Mercedes drivers losing out to Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel.
It was nonetheless an encouraging performance from the Finn according to his boss.
“I am very impressed with his driving – all weekend long,” Wolff said.
“He is under a lot of pressure, being at Mercedes in Nico’s car and he has driven very well.
“In the race he did that again, he closed up to Lewis at the end.”
Wolff, though, did conceded that Bottas was aided in his efforts to catch Hamilton when Mercedes dialled back the Brit’s car.
He added: “Having said that we had taken pace out of Lewis quite early when it became apparent we wouldn’t win under normal circumstances.
“But I am very happy with his performance.”