Valtteri Bottas’ level of dominance in Australia reminded Mercedes F1 boss Toto Wolff of his 2008 title-winning campaign.
Mercedes Formula 1 boss Toto Wolff says Valtteri Bottas’ Australian Grand Prix victory reminded him of the dominant early days of the Finn’s career.
Bottas overtook Mercedes teammate and polsitter Lewis Hamilton at the start and controlled the season-opener in Melbourne in comprehensive fashion, crossing the line 20 seconds clear. In what marked his first victory since the 2017 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Bottas hailed the emphatic display as the “best race” of his entire career.
Wolff said Bottas’ performance echoed the form he displayed back in 2008 when he stormed to a pair of titles in the Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 and Formula Renault 2.0 NEC.
Driving for leading single-seater outfit Motopark, Bottas beat fellow F1 racer Daniel Ricciardo to the Eurocup crown, while he crushed his opposition in the NEC by winning 12 out of the 14 races he contested.
“I’ve seen most of the races in his career in all categories and this was the strongest,” Wolff said.
“In 2008, I got a call from a young boy who asked for a meeting. It was a snowy day in Vienna, and this young Finnish boy came in with a pullover, no jacket, and asked for advice.
“He went on to dominate the Formula Renault Eurocup, in a strong year with [Jean-Eric] Vergne, [Daniel] Ricciardo, and [Roberto] Mehri, he almost lapped the whole field.
“This is the Valtteri Bottas that I have seen in Australia. It was in him. I think that maybe these years at Williams, and then the shock draft into Mercedes was something that he needed to digest.
“He went off tired at the end of the season and came back and the 2008 young man came back. I’m very happy and he deserves it.”
Foto-credit: Mercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport F1