Wolff: Russell has ‘lots to learn’ after Bottas F1 crash

Mercedes chief Toto Wolff believes his protégé George Russell has “lots to learn” following his Formula 1 crash with Valtteri Bottas at Imola, saying the Mercedes car is almost a write-off.

Wolff: Russell has ‘lots to learn’ after Bottas F1 crash
Listen to this article

Williams driver Russell collided with Bottas when trying to overtake for ninth place at high-speed during Sunday’s Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, resulting in a sizeable crash.

The incident left debris strewn across the track and caused the race to be red-flagged, and sparked angry reactions from both Russell and Bottas, who blamed each other.

Mercedes team principal Wolff said that while there was “never such a situation in life where one is 100% to blame and the other zero”, he questioned why Russell made the move that he did, particularly as a Mercedes young driver.

“The whole situation should have never happened,” Wolff said. “Valtteri had a bad first 30 laps, and shouldn’t have been there. But George should have never launched into this manoeuvre, considering that the track was drying up.

“It meant taking risks, and the other car is a Mercedes in front of him. In any driver’s development, for a young driver, you must never lose this global perspective.

“So yeah, lots to learn for him I guess.”

Read Also:

Russell has been a member of Mercedes’ young driver programme since 2017, and has been tipped as a possible future driver for the senior team.

Wolff felt Russell should have handled the situation differently given he was fighting against a Mercedes car.

“You need to see that there is a Mercedes and it is wet, it bears a certain risk to overtake,” Wolff said.

“And the odds are against him anyway when the track is drying up. Now I don’t want him to try to prove anything to us, because one thing I can say since knowing Valtteri for five years, he’s not trying to prove anything.”

Following the incident, Russell questioned why Bottas made the move he did when battling for ninth place, saying: “Perhaps if it was another driver, he wouldn’t have. So that’s what went through my mind." Russell has been tipped as a possible successor to Bottas at Mercedes, potentially as early as 2022.

When told the quote by Motorsport.com, Wolff said the suggestion was “bullshit”.

“The whole situation is absolutely not amusing for us, to be honest,” Wolff said.

“It’s quite a big shunt. Our car is almost a write-off in a cost-cap environment that is certainly what we needed, and probably it’s going to limit upgrades that we’re able to do.

“Simply the fact that we ended there by losing it in the wet, because there was no contact, losing it on the wet, and making both cars crash out is not what I expect to see.”

shares
comments

Related video

Emilia Romagna GP: Verstappen wins, Hamilton recovers to second
Previous article

Emilia Romagna GP: Verstappen wins, Hamilton recovers to second

Next article

Hamilton: Rush to pass lapped F1 cars triggered Imola crash

Hamilton: Rush to pass lapped F1 cars triggered Imola crash
Load comments
The historic clues that offer hints of Hamilton’s next move Prime

The historic clues that offer hints of Hamilton’s next move

OPINION: Uncertainty over Lewis Hamilton's future has persisted since the race direction call that denied him an eighth world title in Abu Dhabi last month. But while walking away would be understandable, Hamilton has time and again responded well in the face of adversity and possesses all the tools needed to bounce back stronger than ever

What the FIA must do to restore F1's credibility Prime

What the FIA must do to restore F1's credibility

OPINION: The first stage of the 2022 Formula 1 pre-season is just over a month away, but the championship is still reeling from the controversial results of last year’s finale. The FIA acknowledges F1 has had its reputation dented as a result, so here’s how it could go about putting things right

Formula 1
Jan 25, 2022
The six subplots to watch in 2022 as a new F1 era begins Prime

The six subplots to watch in 2022 as a new F1 era begins

As Formula 1 prepares to begin a new era of technical regulations in 2022, We pick out six other key elements to follow this season

Formula 1
Jan 24, 2022
Why newly-retired Kimi Raikkonen won't miss F1 Prime

Why newly-retired Kimi Raikkonen won't miss F1

After 349 grand prix starts, 46 fastest laps, 21 wins and one world championship, Kimi Raikkonen has finally called time on his F1 career. In an exclusive interview with Motorsport.com on the eve of his final race, he explains his loathing of paddock politics and reflects on how motorsport has changed over the past two decades.

Formula 1
Jan 23, 2022
Unpacking the technical changes behind F1 2022's rules shake-up Prime

Unpacking the technical changes behind F1 2022's rules shake-up

Formula 1 cars will look very different this year as the long-awaited fresh rules finally arrive with the stated aim of improving its quality of racing. We break down what the return of 'ground effect' aerodynamics - and a flurry of other changes besides - means for the teams, and what fans can expect

Formula 1
Jan 21, 2022
Why F1's new era is still dogged by its old world problems Prime

Why F1's new era is still dogged by its old world problems

OPINION: The 2022 Formula 1 season is just weeks away from getting underway, but instead of focusing on what is to come, the attention still remains on what has been – not least the Abu Dhabi title decider controversy. That, plus other key talking points, must be resolved to allow the series to warmly welcome in its new era

Formula 1
Jan 20, 2022
The Schumacher trait that will give Haas hope in F1 2022 Prime

The Schumacher trait that will give Haas hope in F1 2022

Mick Schumacher’s knack of improving during his second season in a championship was a trademark of his junior formula career, so his progress during his rookie Formula 1 campaign with Haas was encouraging. His target now will be to turn that improvement into results as the team hopes to reap the rewards of sacrificing development in 2021

Formula 1
Jan 19, 2022
The “glorified taxi” driver central to F1’s continued safety push Prime

The “glorified taxi” driver central to F1’s continued safety push

As the driver of Formula 1’s medical car, Alan van der Merwe’s job is to wait – and hope his skills aren’t needed. James Newbold hears from F1’s lesser-known stalwart.

Formula 1
Jan 15, 2022