Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff has said he is "worried" about Valtteri Bottas' recent form but believes it is down to set-up rather than driver ability.
The Finn has been struggling of late and admitted himself that his confidence has taken a hit as a result of his poor form.
"We under performed in Singapore and we have under performed in Sepang" is the frank analysis from the boss. What's the solution? Hard work. Full Q&A now live on MercedesAMGF1.com #ThankYouMalaysia #PETRONAS #Malaysia #KualaLumpur #Sepang #MalaysianGP #MalaysiaGP #FormulaOne #Formula1 #F1 #MercedesBenz #Mercedes #AMG #Automotive #Cars #Motorsport #Racing #ValtteriBottas #Bottas
But while Wolff is concerned, he does believe that Bottas will come out of this slump a stronger driver.
"Yes, I'm worried because I want Valtteri to do well. Everyone wants Valtteri to do well," Wolff said via Motorsport.com in Sepang.
"Valtteri seems to struggle more in having the car in the sweet spot than Lewis. There are so many factors that play a role, but I have no doubt his intelligence will put the jigsaw together.
"We have many more races to do it together and undo the problem. Very good drivers are able to dig themselves out of a difficult situation and I have no doubt he will do that.
"Somebody clever said, ‘smooth seas don't make tough sailors', and if he can dig himself out of his current underperformance, then he is going to come out much stronger.
"We have seen very good performances from him this year and he had a dip in form in the last races. But nobody is doubting Valtteri."
Wolff does believe driver style does play a part but recognises it is not always easy to change your methods.
"We have a capricious car," he said.
"It has a very narrow operating window with the tyres, where the tyres generate optimum grip. And dipping in and out of the window is the fundamental story of 2017 for us.
"Driving style plays a role. Lewis was able to better adapt to the problem than Valtteri. But changing driving style is not something that comes easy to anybody."
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