Valtteri Bottas has “exceeded” the expectations set by Mercedes after seven rounds of the 2017 Formula 1 season, according to Head of Mercedes AMG Motorsport Toto Wolff.
Having already achieved his maiden pole position and race victory, Wolff said ahead of this weekend’s Azerbaijan Grand Prix, “You would never think he joined the team very last minute over the winter and, after, seven Grands Prix, he has exceeded even our expectations.”
Bottas joined the World Champion team from Williams in the 2017 pre-season after Nico Rosberg’s shock retirement just days after winning the 2016 World Drivers Championship.
And, despite strong performances in his four seasons at Williams, Bottas arrived at Mercedes with no race wins or pole positions to his name.
But he needed no time to get on the pace; Bottas took his first pole position and race victory within the first four rounds of the 2017 season.
Despite this impressive performance, after seven races, Bottas is a whopping 36 points behind Lewis Hamilton in the Drivers World Championship.
Wolff is certainly forgiving of the gap though, conceding, “Lewis [Hamilton] is in the best place I have seen him during any of the last five years since he joined the team.”
His last word of advice to Bottas was, “For him, it’s now just about putting it all together every single weekend and I have no doubt he will do that.”