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Why Wolff didn't regret being absent from Russell's Brazil GP win

Toto Wolff was not in attendance at the Brazilian Grand Prix, a race that proved to be Mercedes' only victory of the 2022 season as well as being George Russell's debut win in F1.

Toto Wolff has revealed why he did not feel a sense of regret at being absent from the Brazilian Grand Prix, a weekend in which George Russell claimed his first F1 victory. The Mercedes team boss had travelled early to Abu Dhabi – host of the 2022 season finale one week later – for some meetings, and as such was not at Interlagos for what proved to be the squad's most successful event of the campaign. However, he admits that he was still immersed in what was going on thanks to the power of technology. "It was another interesting experience that I didn't think I would have," Wolff told the Beyond The Grid podcast. "I was already in Abu Dhabi, I had some commercial meetings to do there. I sat in the hotel room with the full intercom being built up, so I was able to listen and speak to all the channels I would normally have. "I had the timing screens built up, the TV feed, so it was literally the same situation like in the garage. I didn't think about being in a hotel, because I just immersed [myself] into the situation."

Wolff happy to hand over spotlight

After winning Saturday's Sprint race, Russell started from pole position for the Brazilian Grand Prix. Teammate Lewis Hamilton joined him on the front row, having been promoted up from third following a penalty for Carlos Sainz. The team went on to claim a 1-2 victory, which also marked their only win of the season. Despite this, Wolff was happy to let other members of the squad take the spotlight after their triumph rather than being there himself. "When we won, Susie said to me, 'Well, I bet you regret not being there,'" Wolff explained. "And I didn't, actually, not at all, because it is always about me, and the drivers. We're giving interviews, we stand in the spotlight, we're taking all the credit for the work that's been done by others. "Me not being there was a sense of pride, pride of the people that were there and pride of the factories, and me not taking sunshine away [from the others]. "We have Shov [Andrew Shovlin] speaking, and Bradley [Lord] and James [Vowles], and they are the heart and soul of the team. I couldn't have felt prouder in that moment, and I couldn't have felt happier for myself, seeing those guys operate the way they did."

Wolff reflects on missed races with Mercedes

Wolff has rarely been absent from an F1 race during his time with Mercedes, having only missed three in the past 10 years. Having recalled some issues that the squad faced when he was first away, the Austrian was proud to see how successful the Silver Arrows were this time around in Brazil. "I missed three races in all of my 10 years with Mercedes; Japan was this year, and then Brazil a few years ago when we [had] already sealed the championship," Wolff explained. "I remember that they were all over the place. It ended up in a situation [where] the team didn't know whether they should pit Lewis or not, and then Lewis said, 'Well, you guys need to decide.' "Since then they [have joked to me], 'Well, it was so bad, because now you're coming back because you saw how wrong it went!' "Seeing them operate on the level they did all weekend [at Brazil 2022, with] me not being here, is still something that I will feel proud [of] forever." When asked if he had been tempted to fly over to Brazil after seeing that his drivers would start from the front row, Wolff said: "No, that would have been too late and too opportunistic. "They made it there without my involvement. I was tempted on the Thursday [to make] a last-minute jump over the ocean, but then there was too much on and I needed to be in the Middle East earlier."

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