Wolff brushes off ‘conflict of interest’ allegations over Bottas link

Valtteri Bottas continues to be linked with the vacant Mercedes drive - Credit: Glenn Dunbar/Williams

Toto Wolff insists he has no conflict of interest despite being part of Valtteri Bottas’ management team as the Finn continues to be linked to the vacant drive within his Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team for 2017.

The Head of Mercedes-Benz Motorsport has revealed that his contract with the German marquee means he cannot have a ‘commercial interest’ in any driver who joins the team, and Wolff says that there is no issue despite his links with Bottas.

“I’m not an idiot. When I joined Daimler four years ago, I signed a contract, so I can’t manage or have a commercial interest in a Mercedes driver,” said Wolff to La Gazzetta dello Sport.

“It isn’t a problem. The problem does not arise. Whoever is talking about a conflict of interest does not understand F1.”

Wolff has also revealed that Mercedes have yet to make a decision on who will replace outgoing World Champion Nico Rosberg, with those under consideration still contracted to other teams, as for example Bottas is to the Williams Martini Racing squad.

“We have not yet made the decision because it involves more than just the driver and our team,” said Wolff. “We must have respect for other teams.

“Valtteri is an option but we also know how important he is for Williams. It’s a delicate situation which requires us to move cautiously, so we’ve decided to take our time with it.”