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Toto Wolff

Wolff 'ashamed' of Russell radio message

George Russell won his second career victory at the Austrian Grand Prix - but he wasn't pleased with a team radio message late in the race!

Wolff Russell Austria
To news overview © XPBimages

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff has admitted to being “ashamed” of his message of confidence to George Russell during the Austrian Grand Prix.

A collision between Max Verstappen and Lando Norris allowed Russell to slip through for the lead after both were forced to return to the pit lane.

Norris retired from the race while Verstappen classified in fifth place.

Immediately after the clash between the pair, Wolff was heard over the team radio telling Russell: “George, you can win this”.

Russell immediately responded: “Let me fucking drive”.

Wolff labelled it as the “dumbest” decision he's ever made while at the helm of the Mercedes F1 squad.

“I think I know the drivers pretty well and what they need at times to encourage or to refocus because I spend so much time with them,” Wolff told media including RacingNews365.

“So I think I know the psychology - but this one is the single dumbest thing I've done in 12 years at Mercedes.

“I will be forever ashamed of this. You look at where you message the driver, you don’t do it on braking or in high-speed corners.”

Wolff 'could have taken Russell out'

Russell took his second career victory over Oscar Piastri and Carlos Sainz - however Wolff believes he could have ended the Briton's race through his timing of the message.

“I didn't look on the GPS or where he was,” Wolff added. “I just saw these two taking each other out.

“We anticipated it and then just emotionally pushed the button and said ‘we can win this’.

“I could have taken him out with that message. I’m emotional, I enjoy us doing well and enjoy seeing Lewis [Hamilton] and George doing well.

“I was just carried away with that situation and I think that's what he said afterwards. But seriously embarrassing.”

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