Mercedes Boss Publicly Criticises Bottas For Giving Verstappen Space

Max Verstappen won the 2021 Mexican Grand Prix despite Mercedes locking out the front row in qualifying.

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff has publicly expressed his frustration with Valtteri Bottas for not closing down Max Verstappen on the run to the first corner in Mexico.

The Finn qualified on pole for the 2021 Mexican Grand Prix, with Sir Lewis Hamilton alongside him and Max Verstappen in P3.

However, the Dutchman benefitted from the tow on the run down to turn one and swept around the outside of both Bottas and Hamilton.

He then controlled the entirety of the race and comfortably pulled away from Hamilton, who held off a charging Sergio Perez to finish in P2.

Speaking after the race, Wolff expressed his frustration with the start and Bottas getting spun around by Daniel Ricciardo at the first corner.

“That should not happen,” Wolff said in a post-race interview.

“I think we had two cars in front and seemed to open up the seal for Max to come around the outside.

“The spin afterwards and a complete loss of points with Valtteri’s car, when that could have been a third or fourth place, is annoying to say the least,” added Wolff.

Continuing, he admitted that Red Bull would have most likely won the grand prix even if Verstappen hadn’t overtaken Bottas and Hamilton on the first lap.

“You have to congratulate Red Bull because the pace was just on another level,” he said.

“I don’t think we could have won the race, even if we would have stayed ahead in the first corner because they could have driven circles around us, around the pit stops.

“So at the end, I think for Lewis’ championship, it was damage limitation. As for the constructors, Valtteri spinning out [at] turn one was just very painful.”

Following Verstappen’s triumph in Mexico, he now has a 19-point advantage over Hamilton in their Championship battle.

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