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Toto Wolff

Wolff: Russell’s Singapore mistake will be engraved in him

George Russell’s costly final lap mistake eliminated him from the Singapore Grand Prix while running in third.

Russell Singapore
To news overview © RN365/Michael Potts

George Russell’s costly mistake on the final lap of the Singapore Grand Prix will be “engraved” in him going forward, according to Mercedes Team Principal Toto Wolff.

On fresh Medium tyres, Russell was hunting Carlos Sainz and Lando Norris in the latter stages of the race as he targeted a race win.

However, on the final lap he tapped the wall at Turn 10 and suffered terminal damage to his car, promoting team-mate Lewis Hamilton to third.

It was the fourth non-score of the season for Russell as he threw away what would have been a second podium, having finished third in Spain as he slipped to just 12 points ahead of Norris in the Drivers' standings.

Despite the mistake, Wolff was sanguine, adding that he viewed it as a massive learning opportunity for Russell's future assaults on the World Championship.

Wolff on Russell mistake

"We tried to win and we didn’t," Wolff told media including RacingNews365.

"The positives are that I love the call from the driver and strategy team to say: 'We are going for it.'

"The worst case was second and fifth, best case we win or we are in first and second, our planner showed that [was possible] at times.

"I am sad for George because he delivered a 99.99 per cent fantastic weekend and a split-second lack of concentration clipped the wall and it happened.

"I said to him: 'I'd rather have that happening now and the learning is there than when we race for a victory or a championship.

"That’s going to be engraved in him, this mistake.

Russell’s mistake handed Hamilton his first podium since the British GP, as the seven-time World Champion secured his fifth top-three finish of the year.

Like Russell, Hamilton made a late pit stop for a fresh set of Medium tyres to take to the end of the race.

Despite missing out on the race win, Wolff has said he is pleased that Hamilton managed to bounce back from a difficult qualifying outing.

"On the positive, Lewis had a difficult day yesterday and he rebounded, he had lots of pace at the end, a deserved podium," he said.

"It’s bittersweet, overall I am happy about the performance, I am happy about how the car was all weekend and I think we gave it our best shot."

F1 2023 Singapore Grand Prix RN365 News dossier

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