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Toto Wolff

Wolff confirms if Mercedes considered Russell and Hamilton swap

The Mercedes Team Principal says he would not change anything about its late strategy call at the end of the Singapore Grand Prix.

Russell Hamilton Singapore
To news overview © XPBimages

Mercedes Team Principal Toto Wolff has confirmed whether the team planned to swap George Russell and Lewis Hamilton in the closing stages of the Singapore Grand Prix.

Both Hamilton and Russell were closing down on Lando Norris and Carlos Sainz for the lead, after pitting during an earlier Virtual Safety Car for fresh Mediums.

Russell was initially quicker but appeared to slow down when close to Norris for an overtake, with Hamilton lapping faster as they started to challenge for position.

Hamilton nearly overtook Russell after a mistake, before the Briton ultimately ended his race with an error on the final lap which sent him into the barriers at Turn 10.

When asked if they considered swapping the cars, Wolff told media, including RacingNews365: "No. I think both played for the victory and in that circumstance, you've just got to let them race and fight it out between themselves."

Wolff: I would do it all over again

Wolff said there was a lot of debate within the team over whether the strategy to pit both cars during the VSC was going to be effective and yield its first win since the 2022 Sao Paulo Grand Prix in November last year.

"I think it was the absolute right call. We would have finished P2, P5. Maybe P2, P4 and we wanted to win the race, so we took the risk and I would every day of the week do it again," said Wolff.

"It's algorithms and it's probabilities in the background, there are mathematicians and scientists and strategists at work to come up with the best solutions and then there are more simple racer minds that are trying to find the best compromise.

"In that case, there was a lot of debate beforehand when to put the car in a safety car window or virtual safety car window, but we did it and then it was deployed and we were all behind it."

F1 2023 Singapore Grand Prix RN365 News dossier

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