Wolff hails Bottas' mental resolve after "freak" run of bad luck
Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff paid tribute to the "strong mental constitution" of Valtteri Bottas and is confident the Finn can bounce back from his catastrophic run of bad luck stronger than ever.
The Formula One drivers' standings suggest Lewis Hamilton has simply outclassed Bottas this year, but this picture shifts somewhat when factoring in the incredible run of bad luck that has plagued the Finn across the season.
Multiple punctures, including two at the Bahrain Grand Prix, a series of reliability problems and picking up debris early on in Imola are just some of the reasons he has lost points this season.
Wolff said: "Valtteri has had bad luck in his season that almost comes close to freak events. Multiple punctures that shouldn’t have happened, red flags when he was in the lead...
"If I didn’t know that he has an absolutely strong mental constitution, a driver could start to question why that is happening to only one guy. Not Valtteri. He is so strong, so robust and resilient that it is only going to make him stronger.
"But I feel sorry for him, picking up all those problems in a single season when he could have won three or four or five races more, being a solid second at least. It’s difficult."
Reflecting on his run of luck, Bottas joked: "I have a place in the south of France and there is a black cat that comes every day. Maybe the issue is I started feeding it but it keeps coming back so I can promise you now there is no more food for the black cat."
Bottas has taken two victories this year compared to the 11 of team-mate Hamilton, and the Finn conceded he is sometimes unsure whether to laugh or cry over his lack of luck.
He added: “If I would make a list of all the unlucky events that I have had happening this year in the races and sessions, it is quite a long list. Should I cry or laugh? Probably laugh.
"Some of those things there is nothing you can do, obviously, and I am not a superstitious guy so that thing with the cat it is a joke.
“It just sometimes happens. Some people can have a run of bad luck. It can be for many years. It can be a short moment. I hope things equal out at some point.”
GPFans is a multi-platform, multi-language brand dedicated to Formula One coverage. We bring you all the ins and outs of the sport, 24/7, everything from up-to-the-minute news and features to the latest viral stories and clips.
We believe that a new generation of exciting, outspoken drivers will make F1 more popular than ever before, and we want to give our users access to as much of their heroes as possible, on and off the track. From Lewis Hamilton to Max Verstappen, Daniel Ricciardo to Sebastian Vettel, we provide in-depth analysis of every every Grand Prix in the season, from Australia to Abu Dhabi.
With Formula One under the new ownership of Liberty Media, how the sport is being covered is evolving, and GPFans will look to be at the heart of this progression into new media, as one of the fastest-growing sites covering the king of motorsports.