After George Russell’s shunt, Toto Wolff must decide whether to offer consolation or criticism.

After George Russell’s shunt, Toto Wolff must decide whether to offer consolation or criticism.

George Russell will have Toto Wolff’s arm around his shoulder following the “unfortunate” incident that cost him the chance to win in Singapore.

In the final laps, Carlos Sainz, Lando Norris, Russell, and Lewis Hamilton engaged in a battle to become the first non-Red Bull race winner of the season after Red Bull was eliminated from the winning equation for the first time in F1 2023.

Russell appeared to be in a strong position to win for a while after Mercedes took a chance on a two-stop and successfully drew in the front-running pair of Sainz and Norris on their fresher tires. But everything went horribly wrong for Russell.

The Singapore Grand Prix was ended by George Russell’s crash.

Russell collided with the outside wall at Turn 10 on the final lap, sending him into the barriers as Sainz went on to defeat Norris, and Hamilton took advantage of his teammate’s bad luck to finish third.

Toto Wolff, the team manager for Mercedes, commented on the race after it had concluded: “It’s fantastic that Lewis is on the podium and he had a brilliant race, also at the end he had pace.

“For George, it’s just a shame because he worked hard for that.
We could have scored a lot of points with a strong third and fourth, but we now trail Ferrari by 22 points.

“You can’t say on television what he said on the radio.

“It was just a bad break, he clipped the wall, and that’s a split-second mistake and it ends a great race, it’s a shame because he would have deserved it.

If Wolff will be emphasizing the seriousness of the situation to his driver, or will he be offering a comforting shoulder to help him recover, given that he has already alluded to the harm that Russell’s shunt caused to Mercedes in the race against Ferrari?

Wolff affirmed that he is unquestionably choosing the latter.

Yes, definitely. The idea of consoling his driver was suggested by Wolff.
“The driver you’re devastated in such a moment, and that’s exactly what I’m going to do,” he responded.

According to Mercedes data, they placed first and second in Singapore.

Russell had mentioned the extra set of brand-new medium tyres available after qualifying and how that could help Mercedes, which did in fact give him and Hamilton the opportunity to take a chance on a two-stop.

The opportunity presented by a Virtual Safety Car period allowed Mercedes to take a chance and double-stack their drivers in order to fit new medium tires.

If we remained stationary, it was obvious how difficult it would be for us to win the race, said Wolff.
“So we decided to try it.
Lewis finished on the podium, which is fantastic because we were strong and went for it.

Wolff stated that based on their information and plan, a one-two finish was anticipated.

In response to the question of whether they could have cleared Sainz for the victory without pursuing a different course of action, Wolff said: “No, I don’t think we could have, that’s why we took the risk.

“We were aware that the third and fifth places were the worst-case scenarios, but that a victory was the best case.
Our strategy, which allows you to monitor your positioning over a number of laps, showed us first and second, but obviously that is just theory.

Fernando Alonso lost that position in the Drivers’ Championship after failing to score in a disastrous race for him and his Aston Martin team.
Hamilton replaced him with a P3 finish.


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