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Wolff explains his mid-qualifying motivational radio message to Bottas

Wolff explains his mid-qualifying motivational radio message to Bottas

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Wolff explains his mid-qualifying motivational radio message to Bottas

Wolff explains his mid-qualifying motivational radio message to Bottas

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff has explained the radio exchange between himself and Valtteri Bottas ahead of the final run in qualifying for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

Bottas qualified second on the grid behind Red Bull's Max Verstappen but ahead of team-mate Lewis Hamilton, with the trio split by just 0.086 seconds.

Ahead of the Finn's final run, Wolff spoke to Bottas on the team radio, saying: "[Give it] Everything you've got."

Wolff explained that the message was not a normal procedure but the idea had come from discussions with his driver since the world championship was wrapped up by Hamilton in Turkey.

"It is always tricky when you talk to a driver before qualifying and the race," he told Sky Sports F1.

"But it is something that we discussed and he [Bottas] said 'I need a little feedback from you,' which is always good.

"It is difficult because I have never talked to my drivers because from my experience, it is a bit distracting. Everybody is different and with him, we had a good talk and obviously, when the championship is lost, you have to cope with that and that is why he said 'let's talk a little bit more'.

Wolff is undeterred by Red Bull's qualifying performance, despite Verstappen claiming the first non-Mercedes powered pole of the season and believes the strong pace of both Hamilton and Bottas gives Mercedes the advantage over its rival, Alex Albon fifth behind McLaren's Lando Norris.

"It is good we have two, he is one," he added. "We don't know where Alex is going to come out after the first turn. We have two to play, P2 and P3. It means we have a bit of a strategy advantage. Let's see how it turns out."

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