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F1: Valtteri Bottas loses Tony Ross as race engineer

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Valtteri Bottas will have a new race engineer in 2019. We just don’t know who yet.

Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff announced after the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix that Tony Ross will become the chief race engineer of Mercedes’ Formula E program.

“Tony Ross is going to be the chief race engineer of our Formula E program,” said Wolff on Formula1.com. “He’s going to dash off into a funny environment with only one race day and funky cities.

“Who replaces him? We’re discussing that. That was a bit of a lie but… give me a few weeks.”

After finishing fifth in the drivers championship on the strength of 17 top-five finishes and two more races in which he scored points, Bottas still described this as a frustrating season – perhaps because of the lack of victories and only eight trips to the podium. Seven of those were runner-up results.

Compounding the disappointment is the fact that Bottas’ fifth-place is the points is the worst for a Mercedes driver since 2013.

I’d… like to thank Tony Ross for all his hard work over the last eight years,” said Andrew Shovlin, Mercedes trackside engineering director. “He has contributed so much to the past five constructors’ championships, and Nico’s driver’s championship, so we will all be sad to see him go, but happy we’ve had the chance to enjoy so much success together.”