Mercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport Team Principal Toto Wolff has stressed how much of a part Valtteri Bottas played in the team’s fight for the title.
The Finn did not have a single victory in 2018, compared to Briton Lewis Hamilton‘s eleven.
Several victories could have gone Bottas’ way, but due to team orders and circumstance, he lost out, in one instance as a result of a puncture late on in Azerbaijan, and being forced by the team to switch places with Hamilton in Russia.
However, Wolff has defended the Finn, saying: “We wouldn’t have won the Drivers’ Championship or the Constructors Championship without Valtteri.
“To strike the right balance between having two alpha pilots in the car, that are able to push each other, but equally maintain a positive dynamic within the team, a productive working environment is key.”
Wolff added that despite the situation he found himself in, Bottas was still able to keep spirits within the team high.
“Valtteri, even with his bad luck, did never allow the spirit and the mindset to drop within the organisation.
“He was always capable to maintain us in high spirits. You see drivers, when they lose the ability to win the Championship, the whole thing goes down the drain and it becomes negative, and they become dysfunctional.”
Wolff said that his ability to keep morale high was how the team were able to win both Championships.
“Valtteri, until the very end, kept us in a positive place. He didn’t feel negative within the group, but kept the energy levels high. This is why he contributed to both these World Championship titles.”