Imola crash "scar" will make Russell better driver - Wolff

Mercedes Formula 1 boss Toto Wolff has jumped to the defence of his protege George Russell after the Williams driver crashed out of the Emilia Romagna GP.

Imola crash "scar" will make Russell better driver - Wolff

Russell was left distraught after he lost control behind the safety car and spun into the wall when running ahead of the Alfa Romeos that eventually finished in ninth and 10th places.

Wolff said that his current and past Mercedes drivers Lewis Hamilton, Valtteri Bottas and Nico Rosberg had all learned from their mistakes, and that it would be the same for Russell, who has long been earmarked for a future with the Brackley team.

"That is all part of the development process," said Wolff. "What makes Lewis and Valtteri so special, and before Nico, was the experience they gained.

"I think everybody needs to put a car in the wall behind the safety car. We've seen that from the most experienced ones, and making mistakes under pressure.

"And I think what George has done today, happened to the best ones. It feels awful for him right now, but it's going to sink in, be like a scar, and he's going to be a better driver in the future."

Read Also:

Former Mercedes and Williams technical director Paddy Lowe, who worked with Russell at both teams, also jumped to his defence.

Lowe referenced the 1991 San Marino GP at Imola, when Ferrari driver Alain Prost spun off and stalled on a wet formation lap, and was not able to make the start of the race.

Responding to an apologetic Tweet from his former driver, Lowe said: "Put it behind you, George Russell, you are in great company. Imagine spinning out on the formation lap in a Ferrari at Imola when already 3x champion. Everybody makes mistakes."

Haas driver Romain Grosjean, who famously crashed in similar circumstances behind the safety car in the 2010 Azerbaijan GP in Baku, expressed similar sentiments in a reply to Russell on social media.

"Man I know the feeling," said Grosjean. "Will take some time to forget it, but what you do is mega. Keep pushing."

shares
comments

Related video

Could Hamilton really be out of F1 in 2021?
Previous article

Could Hamilton really be out of F1 in 2021?

Next article

F1 teams to run definitive 2021 tyres in FP2 session

F1 teams to run definitive 2021 tyres in FP2 session
Load comments
The factors that could negate Red Bull's practice gap to Mercedes Prime

The factors that could negate Red Bull's practice gap to Mercedes

Mercedes led the way in practice for Formula 1’s first race in Jeddah, where Red Bull was off the pace on both single-lap and long runs. But, if Max Verstappen can reverse the results on Saturday, factors familiar in motorsport’s main electric single-seater category could be decisive in another close battle with Lewis Hamilton...

Formula 1
Dec 4, 2021
Why Norris doesn’t expect Mr Nice Guy praise for much longer Prime

Why Norris doesn’t expect Mr Nice Guy praise for much longer

Earning praise from rivals has been a welcome sign that Lando Norris is becoming established among Formula 1's elite. But the McLaren driver is confident that his team's upward curve can put him in the mix to contend for titles in the future, when he's hoping the compliments will be replaced by being deemed an equal adversary

Formula 1
Dec 2, 2021
What Ferrari still needs to improve to return to F1 title contention Prime

What Ferrari still needs to improve to return to F1 title contention

After a disastrous 2020 in which it slumped to sixth in the F1 constructors' standings, Ferrari has rebounded strongly and is on course to finish third - despite regulations that forced it to carryover much of its forgettable SF1000 machine. Yet while it can be pleased with its improvement, there are still steps it must make if 2022 is to yield a return to winning ways

Formula 1
Dec 2, 2021
How F1 teams and personnel react in pressurised situations Prime

How F1 teams and personnel react in pressurised situations

OPINION: The pressure is firmly on Red Bull and Mercedes as Formula 1 2021 embarks on its final double-header. How the respective teams deal with that will be a crucial factor in deciding the outcome of the drivers' and constructors' championships, as Motorsport.com's technical consultant and ex-McLaren F1 engineer Tim Wright explains.

Formula 1
Dec 1, 2021
How getting sacked from Benetton made Mercedes' Allison Prime

How getting sacked from Benetton made Mercedes' Allison

He’s had a hand in world championship-winning Formula 1 cars for Benetton, Renault and Mercedes, and was also a cog in the Schumacher-Ferrari axis. Having recently ‘moved upstairs’ as Mercedes chief technical officer, James Allison tells Stuart Codling about his career path and why being axed by Benetton was one of the best things that ever happened to him.

Formula 1
Nov 28, 2021
The remarkable qualities that propelled Kubica’s F1 comeback Prime

The remarkable qualities that propelled Kubica’s F1 comeback

It’s easy to look at Robert Kubica’s second Formula 1 career and feel a sense of sadness that he didn’t reach the heights for which he seemed destined. But as Ben Anderson discovered, performance and results are almost meaningless in this context – something more fundamental and incredible happened…

Formula 1
Nov 27, 2021
The humbling changes Ricciardo made to deliver for McLaren Prime

The humbling changes Ricciardo made to deliver for McLaren

From being lapped by his own teammate in Monaco to winning at Monza, it’s been a tumultuous first season at McLaren for Daniel Ricciardo. But, as he tells STUART CODLING, there’s more to the story of his turnaround than having a lovely summer holiday during Formula 1's summer break...

Formula 1
Nov 26, 2021
The potential benefits of losing the F1 constructors' title Prime

The potential benefits of losing the F1 constructors' title

As the battle continues to rage over the F1 2021 drivers' championship, teams up and down the grid are turning their attentions to the prize money attributed to each position in the constructors' standings. But F1's sliding scale rules governing wind tunnel and CFD use will soften the blow for those who miss out on the top places

Formula 1
Nov 25, 2021