Mercedes must avoid "exuberance and depression" over driver form

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff says his team must work more to help maintain its drivers' confidence levels, rather than rush between "exuberance and depression" over small changes in form.

Mercedes must avoid "exuberance and depression" over driver form
Listen to this article

Wolff says that Valtteri Bottas’ difficulties at the end of the season highlighted the change of mindset that comes when a driver’s Formula 1 title ambitions have ended. It was a factor that he suggests was not always appreciated before.

After a difficult Sakhir GP weekend, where Bottas was overshadowed by stand-in George Russell, the Finn and Wolff had talks to discuss how best they could help support each other more.

One change made for the F1 season finale in Abu Dhabi was a request from Bottas for Wolff to be more encouraging on the team radio

Wolff says that better dealing with the drivers’ mindset was something that should be done, and the team needed to shy away from putting too much emphasis on single weekend performances.

“What we need to look at, and what we need to work out collaboratively, is that for drivers, it's all about winning the world championship,” Wolff told Motorsport.com.

“And when that has been decided, we need to find out how to keep the energy levels high. But the margin between winning and losing, between hero and zero, is so small in this sport.

“If he [Bottas] would have led the way in Bahrain 2 [Sakhir GP] and won the race, nobody would have criticized Valtteri. And that was down to a good or less good start. He was also catching up in the race before our unfortunate pitstop incident.

“So we mustn't swing between exuberance and depression in terms of our judgement on drivers, but kind of see the average and help the drivers to have confidence, to develop their abilities and achieve sustainable performances.”

Read Also:

Wolff says that although Bottas found himself comprehensively outscored by Lewis Hamilton last year, finishing 124 points behind, the tally did not tell the true story of their form.

He cites the fact that Bottas lost a lot of points through punctures or events outside his control, like the red flag at the Tuscan Grand Prix.

"Valtteri has had highs, but more downs this year than he deserved,” added Wolff. “And the downs were not due to a lack of performance, the downs were simply unlucky.

“How many times has he been in the lead of a race that he would have probably won before a red flag was thrown? Or before he suffered from a tyre puncture? Multiple occasions.

“I think he could have had a handful more victories. And the championship could have stayed more open much, much longer.

“He performs on a very high level. There's no reason to question him if he has those fantastic weekends with top performances.”

shares
comments

Related video

Motorsport Images assists Ferrari with 1000th GP celebration book
Previous article

Motorsport Images assists Ferrari with 1000th GP celebration book

Next article

Magnussen: Fighting for points at best in F1 "becomes old"

Magnussen: Fighting for points at best in F1 "becomes old"
How Red Bull's dynamic leader Mateschitz shaped its F1 philosophy Prime

How Red Bull's dynamic leader Mateschitz shaped its F1 philosophy

The death of Dietrich Mateschitz last month has not only deprived Red Bull of its visionary founder, it has shorn Formula 1 of one of its most influential benefactors. Mateschitz himself was famously media-shy, preferring to let the brand do the talking on his behalf. And, while it’s now normal to speak of Red Bull F1 titles and champions made, Mateschitz never assumed it would be easy or even possible – as ANTHONY ROWLINSON discovered during this previously unpublished interview from 2006…

Can Mercedes break Formula 1's cycle of doom? Prime

Can Mercedes break Formula 1's cycle of doom?

OPINION: Teams that have dominated for long periods throughout Formula 1's history often take years to get back to the top of the tree once they've slipped down. But it remains to be seen whether the same will happen to Mercedes after a challenging 2022 season

Formula 1
Nov 24, 2022
What hurt Perez most in his ill-fated fight for second in Abu Dhabi Prime

What hurt Perez most in his ill-fated fight for second in Abu Dhabi

Arguably the favourite in the battle to finish second-best in 2022's Formula 1 standings, Sergio Perez's two-stop strategy at Abu Dhabi couldn't take him ahead of Charles Leclerc when the music stopped - and several key factors ultimately precluded him from the much-coveted runner-up spot.

Formula 1
Nov 23, 2022
The Abu Dhabi momentum that can propel Leclerc and Ferrari to F1 2023 success Prime

The Abu Dhabi momentum that can propel Leclerc and Ferrari to F1 2023 success

OPINION: Charles Leclerc achieved his target of sealing runner-up in the 2022 world championship with a masterful drive behind Max Verstappen in Abu Dhabi. And that race contained key elements that may help him, and Ferrari, go one better in Formula 1 2023

Formula 1
Nov 22, 2022
2022 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix Driver Ratings Prime

2022 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix Driver Ratings

The 2022 Formula 1 season came to a close at the Yas Marina Circuit, where the battle for second in the standings was decided, the wins in a season record extended and a retiring four-time world champion bowed out on a high. Here's how we rated the drivers

Formula 1
Nov 21, 2022
The factors that stopped Perez catching Leclerc in Verstappen's Abu Dhabi triumph Prime

The factors that stopped Perez catching Leclerc in Verstappen's Abu Dhabi triumph

Max Verstappen ended the 2022 Formula 1 season in fitting fashion with a dominant drive to victory in the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. But behind him, early season rival Charles Leclerc achieved his target of securing the runner-up spot with a well-executed a one-stop strategy to beat Sergio Perez, whose pursuit on a two-stop strategy was hampered by several critical factors

Formula 1
Nov 21, 2022
Why the impact of FIA’s anti-bouncing metric is hard to judge Prime

Why the impact of FIA’s anti-bouncing metric is hard to judge

Faced with drivers complaining about the long-term health effects of car ‘bouncing’, the FIA stepped in to deal with it. JAKE BOXALL-LEGGE explains how the so-called ‘Aerodynamic Oscillation Metric’ works, and asks if it is fit for purpose?

Formula 1
Nov 20, 2022
Where Vettel stands in the list of the greatest F1 drivers Prime

Where Vettel stands in the list of the greatest F1 drivers

As Sebastian Vettel’s Formula 1 career draws to a close, figuring out where he fits into the greatest of all time order is a tough and subjective call. With the aid of statistics, attributes and history, here’s how the four-time world champion stacks up in the debate

Formula 1
Nov 19, 2022