’10 plus 1′: Wolff admits Mercedes ‘robbed’ Bottas of victory

Toto Wolff told Valtteri Bottas that he would love the Finn to return and add to his tally of race wins with Mercedes.

Toto Wolff and Valtteri Bottas in 2019.v1

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff has told Valtteri Bottas that he deserved another win with the team, accepting that he “robbed” the Finn of victory at the 2018 Russian Grand Prix.

Following Bottas’ departure after a four-year tenure with Mercedes, he sat down with Wolff for one final sit-down with the Austrian, in which they candidly discussed Bottas’ career with the manufacturer.

Wolff believes that Bottas deserved the victory, and concedes that Mercedes took it away from him.

“[You have] 10 wins. Plus Sochi so 11. Or was there another one?” Wolff asked Bottas during their final discussion together.

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Bottas does not see the 2018 Russian GP as the only race in which he was cruelly denied victory, saying: “There was a few where I was robbed.”

Valtteri Bottas in 2021

Wolff, however, is adamant that Sochi was the most unfair of them all.

“Yes but this one [Sochi] was really robbed.”

Bottas: “Yeah but there were others like Baku where I got the puncture on the last lap…those kind of things.”

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Wolff, replied: “Ok, this was a DNF, but the one that I robbed was Sochi so put 10 plus 1.”

32-year-old Bottas will leave for Alfa Romeo in 2022, and Wolff hinted that he could spend a few years with the Swiss outfit before returning to add more victories to his Mercedes tally.

“Well maybe you go on a little bit of a sabbatical with Alfa Romeo and then we see how many more [numbers] we can add.”

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The Finn reused to rule out any possibilities in the fast-moving sport that is Formula 1.

“The speed of this sport…you never know what comes ahead of you. At least I know for the next few years but you never know [after that].”

Bottas won 10 races and made it to Q3 in every race weekend he contested with Mercedes over the five seasons he raced with the Silver Arrows in Formula 1.

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