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Mercedes

Wolff: Russell escaped DNF during Brazilian GP

Toto Wolff has revealed that George Russell's race-winning car had developed a water leak partway through the Brazilian Grand Prix.

Russell Brazil
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To news overview © XPBimages

Toto Wolff has conceded that Mercedes had concerns over a water leak that occurred on George Russell's race-winning car.

Russell converted his Sprint victory into a first F1 Grand Prix victory with a measured drive at Interlagos.

The Briton fended off a late threat from teammate Lewis Hamilton to secure Mercedes' first win of the 2022 season.

However, Mercedes Team Principal Wolff has opened up about mid-race concerns over the reliability of Russell's car.

Speaking after the Brazilian GP, Wolff was asked if Russell's Brazil win made up for the disappointment at losing the Sakhir Grand Prix victory in 2020, where Russell - standing in for Hamilton - lost out due to a Mercedes pit stop error, and a puncture.

"I think he deserved to win in Bahrain, and we let him down with the car," Wolff told media, including RacingNews365.com.

"That's why today this victory makes us happy because he could have had one on the clock two years ago, and he didn't and now he has that first victory."

Wolff: We didn't tell Russell about problems

Wolff then conceded that Russell had come close to more F1 heartache when an issue with his Mercedes W13 crept up mid-race, which Mercedes chose not to disclose to Russell.

"We had a water leak on the car throughout the race, and it wasn't clear whether we could actually make it to the end," confirmed Wolff.

"We talked about it on the intercom, and we all agreed that we were going to let him drive to the end, even without water, and just try to finish the race."

A Mercedes representative confirmed that Mercedes' concerns were heightened with 'four or five' laps to go, but any issues from the leak failed to materialise.

F1 2022 Brazilian Grand Prix RN365 News dossier

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