Toto Wolff felt clever driving from Valtteri Bottas helped prevent an accident with Daniel Ricciardo during Sunday’s Chinese Grand Prix, with the Head of Mercedes-Benz Motorsport feeling the Australian’s move for the lead with twelve laps to go was ‘brutal’.
Bottas left just enough space for the Aston Martin Red Bull Racing driver heading into turn six to ensure the manoeuvre ended with both cars intact, with Wolff also heaping praise on Ricciardo for taking the gamble on pitting when the safety car was deployed and pulling off a number of superb overtakes, not just on Bottas but also on Lewis Hamilton, Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Räikkönen.
“Daniel is one of the very good drivers, and he proved it again,” Wolff is quoted as saying by Motorsport.com. “He was very efficient, he was able to wait for his opportunity, he was aggressive when it was needed. Overall [it was] a very good race for him.
“Maybe the manoeuvre on Valtteri was a bit… brutal. But it proved to work. He had Valtteri helping him with that, to avoid a collision. But that is racing and great.”
Despite losing the victory, Wolff only had positives to say about Bottas’ performance throughout the race, feeling he did not put a foot wrong all race long and was unfortunate with the timing of the safety car.
“The only thing I see positive is Valtteri’s race,” added Wolff. “That was really awesome. No mistakes. Unlucky with the Safety Car.
“Even with the Ricciardo overtake, if Valtteri wouldn’t have opened the door last minute Ricciardo would have taken him out. He’s the only one who was without fault [in the race].”