Toto Wolff: 'Trailing Valtteri Bottas still not number two'

Toto Wolff the Mercedes GP Executive Director looks on from the pitwall during day four of Formula One Winter Testing at the Circuito de Jerez on January 31, 2014
© Getty Images
Toto Wolff says that Mercedes remain committed to not designating Valtteri Bottas the 'number two' driver for 2017.

Toto Wolff has said that Mercedes remain committed to not designating Valtteri Bottas the 'number two' driver for 2017.

A mere six points separates Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel and top Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton so far this year.

However, when asked about the much bigger points gap - 35 points - between teammates Hamilton and Bottas, team boss Wolff sounded reluctant about adopting a clear team hierarchy in the interests of securing the drivers' title.

"Yes, the gap is quite big now after the Spanish Grand Prix," he is quoted as saying by Speed Week.

"But we have just five races behind us and 15 still ahead. So there is no reason for us to favour a driver and certainly not at such an early stage of the season.

"No, we will continue as before."

The championship continues next weekend with the Monaco Grand Prix.

Carlos Sainz of Toro Rosso during previews to the Formula One Grand Prix of China at Shanghai International Circuit on April 14, 2016
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TeamPoints
1Mercedes222
2Ferrari214
3Red Bull112
4Force India71
5Toro Rosso29
6Williams-Mercedes22
7Renault18
8Haas15
9Sauber4
10McLaren0
DriversTeamPoints
1Sebastian VettelFerrari141
2Lewis HamiltonMercedes129
3Valtteri BottasMercedes93
4Kimi RaikkonenFerrari73
5Daniel RicciardoRed Bull67
6Max VerstappenRed Bull45
7Sergio PerezForce India44
8Esteban OconForce India27
9Carlos SainzToro Rosso25
10Felipe MassaWilliams-Mercedes20
11Nico HulkenbergRenault18
12Romain GrosjeanHaas10
13Kevin MagnussenHaas5
14Pascal WehrleinSauber4
15Daniil KvyatToro Rosso4
16Lance StrollWilliams-Mercedes2
17Fernando AlonsoMcLaren0
18Marcus EricssonSauber0
19Jolyon PalmerRenault0
20Stoffel VandoorneMcLaren0
21Antonio GiovinazziSauber0
22Jenson ButtonMcLaren0
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