Archive — Mercedes F1 Team
I fear the writing is on the wall for Valtteri Bottas. It was bad enough that Toto Wolff has now explicitly said he’s considering replacing Bottas with Esteban Ocon.
But when even Bottas himself is talking about having a plan B and plan C, surely the game is up. It’s not just the fact that he’s considering it. That’s only sensible for anyone to do.
But in talking about it, he is exposing his weakness. A more driven individual (even if he is talking to other teams behind the scenes) would surely still say he is fully committed to Mercedes and, determined to retain his drive, and not thinking about anything else.
Talking like this just makes Bottas seem like he’s already thrown in the towel.
In all seriousness, I’m impressed at the effort Mercedes have put in to celebrating 125 years in motorsport and their 200th F1 race.
While having all the team personnel (including mechanics!) dressed up in 1950s-style outfits looks fun, it surely must be distracting. Watching the mechanics working on the cars in the garage with their baggy overalls dangling all over the place, I had to think some of these mechanics must find it all annoying.
Lewis Hamilton certainly seemed to find his special gloves annoying during free practice 3 yesterday when he tetchily requested his normal gloves as the session was about to start.
As for the livery, Toto Wolff said:
“I can tell you it’s definitely not making the car lighter… In all the briefing sheets prior to this weekend the engineers pointed out ‘too heavy stickers’…”
I’m sure it’s a small thing, but I’ve always wondered if thick stickers have an effect on aerodynamics. If you look at the photos on the RaceFans article, you can actually see how thick some of the decals are.
I’m sure they wouldn’t do it if it was a problem. But surely thick stickers would be more of a factor than matt paint?
Wolff says rivals ‘didn’t have the balls’ to commit to Ocon deals
I am as upset as anyone else that Esteban Ocon probably won’t be racing in F1 next year. But this is not a good look for Toto Wolff. The other teams are perfectly entitled to hire whoever they want (particularly if a top-notch driver like Daniel Ricciardo becomes available).
If Toto Wolff thinks Esteban Ocon should be racing next year, he could always have given him a Mercedes drive. Notably, he hasn’t.