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Toto Wolff

Russell must bear 'some responsibility for Alonso crash' - Wolff

The Mercedes boss was speaking after the F1 drivers found themselves divided over the incident.

Toto Wolff
To news overview © XPBimages

Toto Wolff feels George Russell must share some of the "responsibility" for his Australian Grand Prix crash after trying to make a move on Fernando Alonso late in the race.

On the penultimate lap of the event at Melbourne's Albert Park, Alonso dabbed his brake 100 metres earlier than on the previous lap approaching Turn 6 before accelerating again and then reapplying the brake to make the entry for the corner, catching Russell unaware and causing him to hit the barrier after taking avoiding action.

The stewards handed Alonso a drive-through penalty for the move, converted into a 20-second time drop, and added three penalty points to his super licence, with Russell believing a "can of worms" would have been opened if the Aston Martin driver had not been penalised.

Ahead of the Japanese Grand Prix, the drivers were divided over the severity of the penalty, with Nico Hulkenberg particularly damming against Alonso, whereas Lando Norris apportioned blame towards Russell.

Whilst Wolff did not go that far, he did suggest the one-time grand prix winner should be held partially responsible for the crash alongside Alonso.

"You can hear the drivers, they obviously understand much more on a track that I've never raced on, and they're split," Wolff told media including RacingNews365.

"I think Fernando was aggressively defending by trying to take out the momentum before the corner, and maybe he's overdone it.

"George was just trying to [set up] an overtake there, but [he] also takes a certain part of responsibility for having lost the car there.

"So what I make of this accident, I think in these high-speed corners, maybe you need to take a little bit of the karting philosophy of killing speed before the corner to have a better exit."

Arguably siding more with his own driver, however, Wolff added: "But who am I to say?

"I'm not sitting in that car, I've never been on that level, so I'm just an observer and I look at the data and throttle and brake input, and that was very different on that lap to all the others."

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