Recently, Toto Wolff made his point about the crash on the 34th lap of the Made in Italy and Emilia Romagna GP between George Russell and Valtteri Bottas.
The young Williams driver attempted to overtake Mercedes's number 77 at over 300 km / h, losing control over his Williams and hitting the Finn's car.
The stewards considered the incident as a "racing incident". Toto Wolff, on the other hand, condemned Russell's behavior, saying that "he should have exercised more caution while racing against one of the works team's cars."
“I guess when a driver doesn’t go for a gap, he isn’t a racing driver,” Wolff said after the crash.
“On the other side, maybe it was too aggressive considering that it was a Mercedes and the track was drying up.”
“The whole situation should have never happened. Valtteri had a bad first 30 laps and should have never been in that position, but George should never have launched into this manoeuvre considering that the track was drying up,” - Wolff said, and then added - “it meant taking risk and the other car in front of him was a Mercedes."
“Any young driver must never lose this global perspective. Lots to learn for him I guess"
“[A young driver] needs to see that there is a Mercedes and it’s wet, so there is a certain risk to overtake and the odds are against him anyway when the track is drying up,” he stated.
During an interview with British broadcaster Channel 4 ahead of this weekend's race in Portugal, George Russell said that he understands Toto Wolff and that he has a point, because there had to be more space between him and Bottas' car, referring also to the fact that he had not considered Mercedes as a sort of second team at the time of the battle on track.
“There was a lot of things I have taken away from it,” he said. “I think firstly as a racing driver one of the rules is that you should never crash with a team mate and for me personally obviously Valtteri is a in a different car but I am a Mercedes-backed driver, I am in the position because of Mercedes," he said.
“Lewis and Valtteri are team mates to me of sorts. And I think that is one thing that didn’t go through my mind in the heat of the moment.”
Then, he confirmed his point of view on the dynamics of the incident, also stating how sorry he was for having behaved in a way that does not suit to him.
“As the stewards deemed it, it was a racing incident, it was unfortunate,” - said Russell - “But I was just disappointed in myself with how I reacted afterwards."
“I felt like I wasn’t me. I went against my own instincts to walk away from the incident because I wanted to show a bit of emotion. And, to be honest, my emotions were incredibly high having just crashed at 200mph. So many things ran through my mind.”
“It isn’t going to change my racing approach when I’m racing against competitors. If I see an opportunity, if I see a gap, I’m going to go for it."
“But definitely I’ve learned that I need to handle things differently afterwards. I need to really take the full picture in before giving a rash judgement to the situation which is what I did on Sunday night. And hence why I felt like it was important to put an apology out there for the people that I felt I let down with those actions after the race,” he concluded.