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F1 | Toto Wolff on Hamilton and Russell: “The present and the future”

Mercedes’s Team Principal was glad to see Russell’s amazing per in the qualifying session and doesn’t believe Hamilton’s qualifying mistake was caused by pressure from the title fight.

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F1 | Toto Wolff on Hamilton and Russell: “The present and the future”
Fuente imagen: Mercedes AMG F1

Sochi was another strong display of driving abilities for George Russell. The Williams driver had qualified, as the track dried, in P3, making the good strategical call of setting an extra time on the softs compared to the other teams, and ended the race in P10, the fourth time in the points in the last five races. 

His Saturday performance was praised by many, including his future boss, Mercedes's Team Principal Toto Wolff. He had only kind words for the Brit starting "in the best spot for overtaking" in the post-qualifying press conference:

"I would not be surprised if George is leading the race after the long turn, and that would be good fun to watch. As long as Lewis can make up many positions, we would have the present and the future running in P1 and 2," he said with a laugh.

"Joking aside, he has shown a strong performance today, taking massive risks by being the first one to pit for softs, but equally where he was, probably qualifying eighth or ninth, that was the right thing to do from Williams's and George's side, but you still need to bring it home, and that's what it did."

He was also if he believes that Lewis Hamilton's accident in the qualifying session, when he lost the rear wing while entering the pit lane, could be blamed on the pressure he's put on by having a title contender who's not his own teammate, Wolff denied it vigorously:

"I think it wasn't the pressure today because it was clear that Max was starting from the back. Why that happened, I can't say, I don't think its the pressure of the championship, and he wasn't the only one it could have happened to."

Wolff also gave his opinion on triple headers, after having completed the first two in the programme for the 2021 season, and especially on what it would mean for F1 teams to have them again next season. 

The Austrian has never been keen on the topic, and vocal especially on the impact three races in a row have in terms of "human" cost on the team, with the workers not able to see their families for almost a month:

"I think Formula 1 is very, very aware that triple headers should be limited but, on the other side, if there is demand for more races in exciting locations that drive revenue, this is a major part of the business itself."

However, he's sure that a compromise can be found, if they will still be needed: "So, we need to find regulations, the way forward on how to protect our employees whilst being aligned to F1's strategy, and we'll find a way for sure," he concluded.

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