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Toto Wolff

Rencken: I couldn't believe Wolff's comments about Russell

RacingNews365 F1 journalist Dieter Rencken said he couldn't believe Toto Wolff's stance when the Mercedes boss said George Russell had 'lots to learn' after his crash with Valtteri Bottas.

Article
To news overview © Mercedes

Dieter Rencken believes Toto Wolff's comments about George Russell were ill-advised, and the Williams driver was perfectly entitled to attack Mercedes' Valtteri Bottas for position.

Russell drew the ire of the Mercedes boss, who oversees the British driver's career, after the Williams driver lost control of his car while trying to pass Bottas into Tamburello.

Wolff was critical of Russell afterwards, saying to media, including RacingNews365.com, "George should have never launched into this maneuver.

"Considering that the track was drying up, it meant taking risks and the other car is a Mercedes in front of you.

"In any driver's development, for a young driver, you must never lose this global perspective. So yeah, lots to learn."

With Wolff implying that Russell shouldn't have attacked the Mercedes for his own reasons, Rencken said that the team bosses' comments were worrying in context.

"I just couldn't believe some of the things that I was hearing," Rencken explained to Thomas Maher on the RacingNews365.com podcast.

"It's George Russell's job to do the best he can for the team that he's racing for, namely, Williams.

"The fact that he's been mentored by Mercedes, the fact that Mercedes have a long term hold on him should not enter into it on the track.

"As far as I'm concerned, he was absolutely and totally justified in having a go at Valtteri when he did, where he did, and how he did. The fact that it turned out to be ill fated is a completely separate issue.

"The point is that he should have been allowed to have a go at Valtteri and try and take ninth off him, which would incidentally have been George's best placing and would have more than made up for his disappointment at Imola last year.

"Yet we have Toto turning around saying, 'Well, you know, you said that he doesn't do a good job, we'll demote him to the Renault Clio Cup and all sorts of things'. I'm terribly sorry, it's George's job to do the best he can. And as far as I'm concerned, he did."

Maher agreed with Rencken, saying: "Toto's comments placed an irrelevancy on George Russell's race, expecting him to hang back and not overtake a car because, later in the race, that car might go faster. It's a nonsensical argument."

Rencken replied: "Well, in my book, it points to a certain level of arrogance, which frankly, I do not appreciate."

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