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George Russell

Wolff hails Russell's 'unbelievable' defence against Verstappen

Toto Wolff was delighted with George Russell's defensive efforts en route to a second podium of the season at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.

Russell Verstappen Spain
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To news overview © RN365/Michael Potts

Toto Wolff was full of praise for George Russell's driving in the Spanish Grand Prix after the Mercedes man spent much of the race fending off the Red Bull pair.

Qualifying in fourth place, Russell moved up to third at the start and successfully defended from Sergio Perez across the opening laps.

Following Verstappen's early spin and Perez's pit-stop, Russell was then forced to spend several laps trying to hold back the reigning World Champion.

With Russell refusing to give in, Verstappen had to pit for clear air and pass his rival through an alternate pit strategy.

Wolff impressed by Russell's approach

Speaking after the race, Wolff shared how impressed he was by Russell managing to hold back the Red Bulls for so long.

"The defence was unbelievable," Wolff told Sky Sports F1.

"How he positioned the car defending and then letting him by around the outside of Turn 3, so you could make the inside of Turn 4...

"He was always on the right spot on the track with a car that was, at that stage, was more than half a second slower [than the Red Bull]."

Wolff rejects driving standards complaints

Verstappen and Red Bull became increasingly frustrated at being stuck behind the Mercedes, not helped by the Dutchman's DRS issues that restricted overtaking opportunities.

Such was the frustration, Red Bull's radio communications to Verstappen included an accusation that Russell was changing direction too much whilst defending.

However, Wolff moved to reject any suggestions of poor driving from Russell.

"I heard there was moaning in the background about driving [standards], but I think this is exactly what we need – it's fair racing and spectacular," said Wolff.

"I'm really happy to see him racing like this and we have two unbelievable drivers. They are the right guys to sort out the car and come back to the front."

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F1 2022 Spanish Grand Prix RN365 News dossier

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