Toto Wolff says Valtteri Bottas’ pole position for the Brazilian Grand Prix confirms that his form is back ‘on the right trajectory’, with the Finn pulling out a lap record-breaking time of 1:08.322s to deny Sebastian Vettel top spot by 0.038 seconds.
Since the summer break, Bottas’ form had dropped off somewhat, with team-mate Lewis Hamilton comfortably ahead in both Qualifying and on race day, but with the Briton hitting the wall early on in Brazil and subsequently set start to start from the pit lane, the Finn had to step up and he did so by putting in the storming lap to take his third pole position of the season.
Wolff, the Head of Mercedes-Benz Motorsport, said Bottas has put together a strong weekend so far at the Autodromo Jose Carlos Pace, and he has worked hard to put everything together in order to fight for second place in the Drivers’ Championship.
“He was on an upward slope in the last races but this weekend was very good, every session he was competitive,” said Wolff on Crash. “For me it’s a positive indication that he’s understanding the car better and is on the right trajectory.
“I think it’s those little steps he’s made to understand why the tyre doesn’t perform or why he’s not having the tyre in the right window.
“The car is very sensitive and the tyre is very sensitive and you can see that with other teams as well, little steps can throw you off the grip curve. He’s putting the dots together and this has eventually led to better performance.”