Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff says he is completely satisfied with his driver pairing of Valtteri Bottas and Lewis Hamilton, despite the lack of competition the former offered the latter in 2020.
Wrapping up the 2020 Formula 1 driver’s championship with three races remaining, Hamilton has now comprehensively beaten Bottas in all four seasons the Finn has been with the team, with calls getting increasingly louder for Wolff to find the Briton some new competition.
However Wolff maintains he has no interest moving away from the chemistry Hamilton and Bottas have fostered, nor the results they have accomplished together.
“I think if you have a dynamic between two drivers that is where the talking happens on track, I think you can have two alpha males [in the team],” Wolff told reporters after the Turkish Grand Prix. “And Valtteri has shown some really good performances this year but then dropped away towards the end.
“I like Valtteri and Lewis. The combination works well. When Lewis has a bad day, then Valtteri pulls it off, then the other way around: Valtteri had a really bad day today and then Lewis wins the race. I think as a combination, it really works well.”
Coming into Turkey needing a strong result to keep his slim championship hopes alive, Bottas instead endured his worst race of the season, spinning six times amid the wet conditions on his way to 14th. Nevertheless, Wolff believes the Finn shouldn’t be too harshly criticised for his untimely drop in performance.
“I think he suffered from what many other drivers suffered out there, that simply, the tyres were not in the right temperature window,” he explained. “And once you’re in that kind of spiral, it’s very difficult to set yourself back in a good position and I think, today, everything came together for him – the perfect storm.”