Renault Responds to Wolff’s ‘Clio Cup’ Taunt After George Russell’s F1 Crash With Bottas

Published 04/20/2021, 4:21 AM EDT
BUDAPEST, HUNGARY – JULY 19: Mercedes GP Executive Director Toto Wolff smiles in parc ferme during the Formula One Grand Prix of Hungary at Hungaroring on July 19, 2020 in Budapest, Hungary. (Photo by Clive Mason – Formula 1/Formula 1 via Getty Images)


For anyone of you who watched the Emila-Romagna Grand Prix on Sunday, it is a must for you to follow the scenes that unfolded in the aftermath. When George Russell crashed with Valtteri Bottas on lap 34, it did not really anger Toto Wolff to a large extent.

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Rather than banging his desk with his fist, he came up with a hilarious quip. The Austrian ‘keeps teasing’ Russell from time to time. And in the post-race interviews issued a threat to him that had us rolling on the floor laughing.

“If you do a good job you’ll be in a Mercedes, if not then we are doing the Renault Clio Cup. And today it was closer to the Renault Clio Cup,” Toto Wolff had remarked.

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It did not take Renault too long to respond back on Twitter. Their World Series account, which covers the Renault Clio Cup, offered to pay the entry fees for Russell to actually participate in it.

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George Russell has a lot to learn after the crash: Toto Wolff

While Toto Wolff was cool and calm post-race, he stopped joking around when he learned of the extent of the damage. The collision between Russell and Bottas damaged the latter’s W12 to a great extent.

An F1 car costs around $2 million to build from scratch, and Bottas’ car was almost a write-off after the incident. The problem is heightened by the existence of the budget cap ($145 million). Mercedes would not have wanted to use a part of their upgrade spending on repairing the car.

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“George should have never launched into this maneuver, considering that the track was drying up. It meant taking risks, and the other car is a Mercedes in front of him. In any driver’s development, for a young driver, you must never lose this global perspective.

“So yeah, lots to learn for him I guess,” said Toto Wolff.

Formula One F1 – Emilia Romagna Grand Prix – Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari, Imola, Italy – April 18, 2021 Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas and Williams’ George Russell in action during the race REUTERS/Jennifer Lorenzini

While Russell was in fits of rage after the crash, the F1 community came down hard on him for trying to deflect the blame away from himself. After his heroics last season, this bout of criticism won’t be easy to swallow. However, it will be an important lesson in his burgeoning career.

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Bharat Aggarwal

672 articles

Bharat Aggarwal is a sports analyst for EssentiallySports, covering Formula 1 and NBA. A Delhi University graduate, Bharat has multi-year experience in sports writing, having closely worked with the content strategy aspect as well. Bharat Aggarwal supports Manchester United, Lewis Hamilton, Cristiano Ronaldo, Rafael Nadal, Dirk Nowitzki, Sachin Tendulkar, Ayrton Senna, Kristaps Porzingis, and Dallas Mavericks.

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