MARCH 25, 2018
Wolff eases pressure after Bottas crash
Toto Wolff says he will try to ease the psychological blow suffered by Valterri Bottas following his qualifying crash in Melbourne.
Bottas' season got off to the worst possible start with a heavy qualifying crash, with his Mercedes predecessor Nico Rosberg saying it will also be a mental blow.
When asked about that, Wolff said: "Yes, my somewhat restrained reaction to the incident was due to the psychological effect that the accident can have on Valtteri.
"Today Lewis was faster than him, so you try to go faster, hit the wall and then you can begin to doubt yourself."
Bottas' situation is not helped by his contractual status, and rumours Daniel Ricciardo could be shaping up for negotiations with Mercedes about 2019.
Wolff said: "Such an incident before the first race of the season does not help him, but we will try to support Valtteri as much as we can.
"We are sympathetic to the situation and will try not to expose him to excessive pressure."
Bottas said he will not be psychologically affected by the crash.
"Normally I do not make such mistakes, but this time it didn't work out. Everybody makes mistakes sometimes," said the Finn.
"I have no problems psychologically - I'm just looking ahead to the race now and in the next qualifying, I will take risks again."