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
1Mercedes357
2Ferrari318
3Red Bull184
4Force India101
5Williams-Mercedes41
6Toro Rosso39
7Haas29
8Renault26
9McLaren11
10Sauber5
DriversTeamPoints
1Sebastian VettelFerrari202
2Lewis HamiltonMercedes188
3Valtteri BottasMercedes169
4Daniel RicciardoRed Bull117
5Kimi RaikkonenFerrari116
6Max VerstappenRed Bull67
7Sergio PerezForce India56
8Esteban OconForce India45
9Carlos SainzToro Rosso35
10Nico HulkenbergRenault26
11Felipe MassaWilliams-Mercedes23
12Lance StrollWilliams-Mercedes18
13Romain GrosjeanHaas18
14Kevin MagnussenHaas11
15Fernando AlonsoMcLaren10
16Pascal WehrleinSauber5
17Daniil KvyatToro Rosso4
18Stoffel VandoorneMcLaren1
19Marcus EricssonSauber0
20Jolyon PalmerRenault0
21Antonio GiovinazziSauber0
22Jenson ButtonMcLaren0
23Paul di RestaWilliams-Mercedes0