Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff has praised Brazilian Grand Prix pole-sitter Valtteri Bottas for getting on top of his issues with the W08 car and Pirelli tyres to ignite his late season charge for the runner-up spot in the Formula 1 world championship.

With Mercedes already wrapping up the F1 drivers’ and constructors’ crowns in recent races, Bottas is aiming to deliver the team a clean sweep by taking second place off of Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel.

Bottas cut the deficit to Vettel to 15 points last time out at the Mexican Grand Prix and has another opportunity to close the gap having secured pole position in Brazil, with Vettel joining him on the front row.

The Mercedes boss is pleased Bottas is showing signs of recovery having gone three races without a podium before Mexico – his longest stretch since joining the German manufacturer this year – and has faith the Finn is back on “the right trajectory” with his feeling in the car and with the tyres.

“He was on an upward slope in the last races but this weekend was very good, every session he was competitive,” Wolff said. “For me it’s a positive indication that he’s understanding the car better and is on the right trajectory.

“I think it’s those little steps he’s made to understand why the tire doesn’t perform or why he’s not having the tire in the right window.

"The car is very sensitive and the tyre is very sensitive and you can see that with other teams as well, little steps can throw you off the grip curve. He’s putting the dots together and this has eventually led to better performance.”



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