Wolff: 'Maybe I need to shut up next time'


Mercedes F1 boss Toto Wolff says he may reconsider his in-race radio messages to Valtteri Bottas as his support over the air waves in the Portuguese GP failed to spur on the Finn.

Bottas was running third behind teammate Lewis Hamilton and Red Bull's Max Verstappen in the final part of Sunday's race when Wolff popped up on the radio to deliver a few words of encouragement to his driver as he attempted to reel in Verstappen.

"Hunt him down, Valtteri, you're the quickest car!"

Unfortunately, a faulty exhaust sensor put the Finn's engine in protection mode in the closing laps of the race, costing him 5 seconds and a chance to overhaul runner-up Verstappen.

Last year, Bottas encouraged Wolff to voice a bit of timely support over the radio when necessary, and the Austrian admitted he liked getting involved. But the morale booster didn't pan out this time around.

"We discussed it, and I enjoy it also, because I'm so passionate about things that having a release valve to Valtteri [is good]," Wolff said. "I thought it works well.

"It actually didn't work well this time, so I maybe need to shut up next time, or at least discuss it with him. I need to speak to him again.

"He's mentally strong, when you saw how he recovered from last weekend [at Imola].

"He was really catching up, really hunting him down, but when I came on the radio, it kind of flatlined. So maybe not in the future any more."

After his third-place finish at Portimão, Bottas said he would always welcome the odd "supportive" cheer from the boss.

"There's been many times that he's opened the radio to say something," Bottas said. "It's all supportive and it shows there's the support and the passion behind, and it never hurts.

"Obviously I'm always giving it every single bit I have on track, but yeah, it's good."

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