Wolff ‘won’t forget’ Bottas’ role in Spain

Date published: May 14 2017

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff praised Valtteri Bottas for his role in helping Lewis Hamilton to victory at the Spanish Grand Prix.

The Finn was involved in a first-lap collision which saw early retirements from Kimi Raikkonen and Max Verstappen, but even with some damage himself, Bottas was able to complete a longer first stint and hold up Vettel for a few precious laps before his old engine finally gave out.

"It was a team effort," said Wolff to Sky Sports F1.

I wouldn't forget Valtteri. His race was pretty much gone after contact in Turn One. He played a part in it.

"[Ferrari] knew there was the risk of an undercut from our side because we had managed to stay close. They had to go for the first window otherwise we would have. It was pretty clear after that we had to go long.

"I think it's going to be a development race throughout the season. the car was good in the race and good following Sebastian. I'm very happy.

Given Bottas' role in the race the gap between himself and Hamilton in the World Championship standings, Wolff was once again pressed on whether he views the Finn as the number two driver at Mercedes.

He responded: "At the moment Lewis is quite a large chunk ahead in the championship but we are at race five and we have never made a driver decision this early. We will continue.

"Let's see how it pans out over the next couple of races."