Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff rarely comes on the team radio during a race. He, however, made an exception during the Portuguese Grand Prix.
Wolff made a rare radio appearance to communicate with Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas.
The Mercedes team principal was heard encouraging Bottas by telling him that he was the fastest man on the track as he tried his best to hunt down Max Verstappen.
Even though it is rare for Wolff to appear on team radio like this, he claimed that he enjoyed the experience.
“We discussed it,” Wolff told the media when asked if Bottas had previously requested him to use the radio.
“I enjoy it also because I’m so passionate about things that having a release live to Valtteri, I thought works well.”
Even though Wolff had good intentions with respect to the message, Bottas did not seem to be able to improve his performance. This just led Wolff to joke that maybe he would just keep quiet in the future.
“It actually didn’t work well this time, so I maybe need to shut up next time, or at least discuss with him,” Wolff said.
When asked if Bottas needs this kind of support, Wolff said that the Finn showed true mental strength after his crash with George Russell.
“I don’t know. I need to speak to him again,” the team principal explained.
“He’s mentally strong, when you see how he recovered from last weekend. And yeah, he was really catching up [to Verstappen in Portugal]. He was hunting him down.
“But when I came on the radio, it kind of flatlined. Maybe not in the future anymore.”
Wolff also believes that there were several good aspects to Bottas’ performance despite him slipping from first place to third.
“All in all, I think like many times it could have worked for Valtteri and we will push him hard and continue to support him, and next time we see what he is capable of doing in Barcelona.”
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