Mercedes boss Toto Wolff is no longer part of Valtteri Bottas' personal management team after he stepped down following the Finn's appointment as Lewis Hamilton's teammate for the 2017 season.
The reigning champions' motorsport chief had invested in Bottas' future along with two-time champion Mika Hakkinen and driver manager Didier Coton. But following his arrival as a Mercedes driver, Wolff confirmed that he has stepped down as there will be a "conflict of interest".
The 27-year-old will occupy the seat vacated by Nico Rosberg and come up against three-time world champion Lewis Hamilton. It is certain to be an experience like no other, and Bottas has admitted that the Briton is a good reference point to have as they compete with each other during the course of the campaign.
Wolff refused to divulge the length of Bottas' contract with the team, but made it clear that Mercedes will make decisions to ensure the team stays competitive. The Silver Arrows team's junior drivers Esteban Ocon and Pascal Wehrlein will drive for Force India and Sauber respectively in 2017, but the motorsport chief admits that they could step up in the future and warned the Finn that his future will be secure only if he ensures high performance levels and match Hamilton in terms of raw pace.
"It would be a conflict of interest to be involved in the management of a driver and equally being his boss and running the team," Wolff told Sky Sports, as quoted by ESPN F1. "It's something we agreed a long time ago that there wouldn't be a driver that I'm looking after driving in any Mercedes racing car. And that's what's happening."
"We have a couple of options," he said. "We were obviously caught on the back foot with Nico's decision to retire and we have some great junior drivers with Pascal and Esteban coming up the ranks, but they need a little more time and for us it was key to keep the options open. Valtteri is very aware of that and he needs to just perform and be quick and then the future can be his."