Toto Wolff feels Valtteri Bottas is deserving of a change of luck in 2018, with the Finn having suffered more bad luck than Mercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport team-mate Lewis Hamilton in the opening seven Grand Prix of the season.
Whereas Hamilton has claimed three race victories in those first seven races, Bottas is still searching to add to his three career victories despite often being more than a match for his team-mate, and following last weekend’s French Grand Prix where the Finn was spun around at the opening corner by Sebastian Vettel, he sits fourth in the Drivers’ Championship standings, fifty-three points behind the Briton.
Bottas was on course for victory in the Azerbaijan Grand Prix only for a tyre to fail in the closing stages, handing the win to his team-mate, and Wolf, the Head of Mercedes-Benz Motorsport, feels it would be deserving for the Finn to get the results his performances have deserved.
“We’re going to Austria leading both the Constructors’ and the Drivers’ Championships, but we know that we will once again get every detail right if we want a chance to win the race,” said Wolff.
“In Valtteri’s case in particular, he needs luck to go his way a little more than we have seen in recent races, because he hasn’t had the results that his performances should have earned.”
Bottas will have the first opportunity to take his first win of 2018 this weekend at the Red Bull Ring, the venue for his second career victory twelve months ago, and Wolff knows it will be important for Mercedes to hit the ground running in order to maximise their chances.
“The relatively short lap in Austria makes the circuit challenging as it closes up the field in qualifying and will make the margins even tighter,” said Wolff.
“We will aim to hit the ground running as qualifying is particularly important because overtaking has historically been tricky despite the long straights – although we need to wait and see if that changes this year with an additional DRS zone.”