In Brief

F1: Lewis Hamilton’s ‘weakness’ could hand Valtteri Bottas the title, says Nico Rosberg

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff explains why the team did not feature in the Netflix Drive to Survive series

Former Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg believes that Valtteri Bottas can become the 2019 Formula 1 world champion if he takes advantage of Lewis Hamilton’s moments of “weakness”.

Bottas won Sunday’s season-opening race in Australia after finishing ahead of team-mate Hamilton, the reigning world champion.

German Rosberg, who won the title with Mercedes in 2016, has tipped Finnish driver Bottas to take Hamilton’s crown if he can maintain his positive start to the 2019 campaign.

Speaking to German publication Auto Bild Rosberg said: “I think if Valtteri can keep the positive mentality, he can become world champion, because then Lewis has his periods of weakness.

“Bottas is in combat mode this year. You cannot underestimate the mental side in Formula 1. It’s what we saw last year with Sebastian [Vettel].”

Wolff explains Mercedes’s Netflix snub

Netflix’s Formula 1: Drive to Survive documentary series has been well received but many viewers have asked why Mercedes and Ferrari were not involved.

When asked why his team declined to be part of the documentary Mercedes boss Toto Wolff explained they were following Ferrari’s lead.

Quoted by Planet F1, Wolff said: “We had some good reasons not to join last year. The main reason was that I felt that it was a big distraction and could potentially be a distraction especially also because our main competitor was not doing it.

“The media work already, as much as it makes Formula 1 and we must be grateful, has become a very big part of the race weekends. And I felt that doing more of it would harm us in our performance and this is why I decided that it was not for us.”

However, Wolff has seen some of the episodes and has not ruled out Mercedes being involved in the future.

“I’m open-minded,” he said. “I watched the first three episodes on my way over [to Australia], liked some of the things in there. Certainly, the production’s great, it’s on a very high level.

“It shines a completely different light on Formula 1. The narrative is interesting, it creates stories that are not the obvious ones, it’s not about Ferrari against Mercedes.

“The sport is maybe not the primary narrative but interesting other stories. I get feedback from people that are not normally so interested in Formula 1, they said it’s great.”

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