After George Russell’s Lewis Hamilton favor is turned down, Marcedes chief Toto Wolff brutally criticizes him

Toto Wolff, the head of Mercedes AMG Petronas, was blunt when discussing George Russell’s mistake, which cost him a podium finish in the rain-delayed Monaco Grand Prix

The 25-year-old British racer was determined to secure a podium finish in the rain-soaked main event of the Monaco GP. He got up to the third place from his eighth-place starting position by avoiding the pits during the late-race rain. But not long after he transitioned to intermediates, he made a critical mistake.

Lewis Hamilton

After appearing poised to capitalize on Esteban Ocon of Alpine’s slow pit stop, Russell dropped to fifth after being distracted by a yellow flag. He was involved in a collision with Sergio Perez of Red Bull and was penalized five seconds for making an unsafe rejoin, putting him further behind teammate Lewis Hamilton and Ocon. 

Wolff then rejected Russell’s request to switch positions with Lewis Hamilton, and the chief stated bluntly, but for the mistake, they would have finished on the podium.

Toto Wolff reflects on George Russell’s disappointing performance at the Monaco Grand Prix 2023

“He generally puts a lot of pressure on himself, that’s his way,” Wolff explained while speaking to ServusTV. “We might have to consult and coordinate. I don’t think he also really thought we would swap positions. I said we are not even discussing that. Staying calm is important. Without his exit, it would have been a podium finish, we were ahead of Ocon.”

“It was a race where you could do a lot wrong and fly off the track, but the pace was really good in the rain, the strategy choices were right, and then that’s a result we can be happy with today.”

George Russell laments the lack of focus that cost him a podium spot

A skid into the escape road at Mirabeau cost the Mercedes driver a chance at a podium finish, and he was understandably furious about it.

While speaking to the media, Russell said: “It was an exceptionally boring race until the rain came down—and it sort of came out of nowhere as it wasn’t really on the forecast.”

Russell also admitted to his own mistakes. “I’m really kicking myself because P3 was almost guaranteed after not pitting. I came out, there was a yellow flag, I backed off, and as soon as I touched the brakes, I locked up and followed Stroll up the escape route.”

“That’s probably a lesson that, actually, when you’re not on it and you’re not focused, you make those mistakes. Probably if there wasn’t a yellow flag there, I would have just been focusing more, and I wouldn’t have gone off and cost most of the team a comfortable P3.”

Max Verstappen continues to be dominant in this season, as he secures another victory in the Monaco GP. Fernando Alonso and Esteban Ocon make up the podium, and Mercedes drivers Lewis Hamilton and Geroge Russell took the 4th and 5th spots.

Tanzeem Rahman

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Tanzeem Rahman is a soccer writer and an editor at SportsZion. Tanzeem's love for the sport began by watching and admiring Cristiano Ronaldo in his early Manchester United days. Having graduated from Germany as an Electrical Engineer, Tanzeem has watched multiple high-profile games throughout Europe from the gallery. His knowledge and enthusiasm for the sport, as well as sublime english proficiency has been an asset to SportsKnot. Outside of his duty, Tanzeem is a gamer, and loves to spend time watching Anime and reading Manga.


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