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Toto Wolff

Wolff sees no reason why Russell can't convert pole into victory

George Russell's pole position in qualifying for the Hungarian Grand Prix caused something of a surprise after a challenging Friday for Mercedes, but team boss Toto Wolff is confident that the Briton can be in the fight for the win.

Russell Hungary
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Toto Wolff believes that George Russell stands a good chance of taking his debut victory in F1 at the Hungarian Grand Prix after sealing a surprise pole position.

Mercedes had faced a challenging start to the weekend at the Hungaroring, but Russell bounced back to take P1 on the grid in the final moments of qualifying, pushing Ferrari's Carlos Sainz down to second.

While Russell's lap came out of the blue, Wolff is hopeful that the Briton can be in the fight for the win in Sunday's race.

When asked if this is an opportunity for Russell to clinch his first victory, Wolff told Sky Sports F1: "Yeah, I think if we can maintain the position at the start and be first coming out of the first lap, drive a solid race [and] have some good stops, yeah, why not?

"We can win this."

Can Russell take the fight to Ferrari?

As well as having Sainz alongside him on the front row, Russell is also just ahead of Ferrari's Charles Leclerc, who sits third on the grid.

On whether Russell can take the challenge to the Scuderia on Sunday, Wolff said: "Yeah, I think so.

"We haven't been in the hunt for wins this season. We know how quick Ferrari was all the time. Charles was solid in the lead in the last race.

"Max [Verstappen] is a bit further behind, which is also not bad for the end result.

"So I think he will be highly motivated, as will be Lewis [Hamilton, who starts in seventh]."

Wolff reflects on Mercedes' prospects if Russell wins

It has been a tough campaign for Mercedes so far in 2022, and Wolff previously ruled out the team's title prospects earlier in the season.

However, he admits that their chances for the rest of the year might need to be reassessed should Russell win the Hungarian Grand Prix.

"[It's] so difficult to say [if we can still challenge in the championship], because we have a very big point gap behind Max, like everybody else," Wolff explained.

"But then you can see how quickly it goes today, when they were out of the fight at the front. We will never give up.

"We doubt all the time. We oscillate between depression and exuberance, and that's what makes the sport so tough, and on the other side so exciting.

"I wouldn't discount anything if we're able to win tomorrow."

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