Mercedes motorsport chief Toto Wolff has relinquished his role in Valtteri Bottas’ management now that the Finn is part of the World Champion team.
Wolff’s has handed over the responsibilities to Mika Hakkinen and driver manager Didier Coton.
The Mercedes boss invested in the early stages of Bottas’ career, but confirmed during Monday’s announcement that he would no longer be involved.
Wolff told Sky Sports, “It would be a conflict of interest to be involved in the management of a driver and equally being his boss and running the team. It’s something we agreed a long time ago that there wouldn’t be a driver that I’m looking after driving in any Mercedes racing car. And that’s what’s happening.”
Bottas was signed by Mercedes to replace reigning F1 World Champion Nico Rosberg, who quit suddenly after winning his first world title.
Wolff did not give details of the length of Bottas’ contract, but did allude to driver options thanks to having the likes of highly rated young drivers Pascal Wehrlein and Esteban Ocon on their books.
Wolff explained, “We have a couple of options. We were obviously caught on the back foot with Nico’s decision to retire and we have some great junior drivers with Pascal and Esteban coming up the ranks, but they need a little more time and for us it was key to keep the options open.”
“Valtteri is very aware of that and he needs to just perform and be quick and then the future can be his,” warned Wolff.