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marko wolff

Marko: Mercedes no risk no fun!

marko wolff

Red Bull consultant Helmut Marko says that Mercedes chose to avoid the brave path when deciding to choose Valtteri Bottas instead of Pascal Wehrlein to replace retired Nico Rosberg in the world champion team.

Wehrlein is the product of Mercedes’ junior driver programme, while Bottas is a high cost transfer from Williams.

Marko, who has run the Red Bull young driver programme which produced the likes of Sebastian Vettel and Daniel Ricciardo, told motorsport-magazin, “With us it would have been different! With us a junior would have come through on the train. No risk, no fun!”

Adding credence to Marko’s claim is Toto Wolff’s declaration that “Pascal and Lewis are an explosive mixture.”

Ironically, at the same time Mercedes are adamant that Wehrlein needs another year in the middle of the grid before he can be considered for promotion to the Silver Arrows.

Although Mercedes insist their drivers will be treated as equals, Hamilton could relegate Bottas to number two status if the Finn does not challenge the triple F1 World Champion from the moment he drops the clutch on race day in Melbourne.

Marko is aware that such a scenario is possible even in the Red Bull team where Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo are both confident of making a title charge in 2017.

Marko acknowledges, “This danger is quite real, but it does not change our racing philosophy or enthusiasm in any way. With us, there are no team orders. We are more racers than [Mercedes].”

Mercedes will be keeping an eye on Wehrlein, as well as rookie Esteban Ocon who will start his first full season with Force India.