Wolff Confesses Russell’s One-Off Mercedes F1 Stint Confirmed Team’s Expectations

Published 01/19/2021, 3:28 AM EST
Formula One F1 – Sakhir Grand Prix – Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain – December 5, 2020 Mercedes’ George Russell in the garage during practice FIA/Handout via REUTERS


Mercedes AMG F1 team, without a doubt, are one of the strongest F1 teams that the sport witnessed in over a decade. Consequently, such a massive team will certainly have some expectations from their drivers.

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With George Russell on the waiting list, does he hold the criteria to join the highly rated team?

Well, Toto Wolff expressed his view on the rising star’s talent and weighed in some insights on what the Mercedes’ think tank is hoping to retrieve from Russell.

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What did Toto Wolff say?

Speaking to Autosport, the Austrian opened up about Russell’s progress so far in Formula 1 and his prospects of racing for Mercedes in the future. In the process, he affirmed that Russell’s Sakhir GP drive cleared Mercedes’ concerns over the young Briton.

For us, [using him as a replacement for Hamilton] was a possibility to confirm what we were thinking about George. It was unfortunate that this opportunity came with Lewis having been out,” he said.

WOLFF Toto (aut), Team Principal & CEO Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 W11, portrait during the Formula 1 Winter Tests at Circuit de Barcelona – Catalunya in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by Xavier Bonilla/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

I would have wished it would have happened in a different way. But it gave us a set of data points to look at. And in a way, it affirmed how we judged him.”

Russell clearly led the way during his first-ever weekend with Mercedes at Sakhir GP last season. Furthermore, he only fueled his hype with that stunning move around the outside to beat his teammate, Valtteri Bottas, during the latter part of the race.

Winning championships all about making the least amount of mistakes: Mercedes team principal

Toto Wolff opened up about what it takes to be a world champion and opined that Russell is steadily inching towards that stage. “Winning Formula 1 championships is about making the least amount of mistakes. And that only comes with routine and experience,” he said.

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Mercedes expects these kind of sustainable performance levels. And that’s why you need to give young drivers time.”

Formula One F1 – Sakhir Grand Prix – Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain – Mercedes’ George Russell celebrates after qualifying in second position Pool via REUTERS/Tolga Bozoglu

Russell has been a part of Williams for the last couple of years and is set to hit a hat-trick soon. With such experience in the bag, the Briton will be under the team’s radar by the end of the 2021 F1 season.

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So, with the Mercedes switch nearing Russell, can he manage to be as successful as his potential predecessor, Lewis Hamilton? Well, let’s see what the future holds.

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Rohit Kumar

631 articles

Rohit Kumar is an F1 author at EssentiallySports. He has been an ardent follower of the racing series since 2007, with his love for the sport coinciding with his love for Kimi Raikkonen. He is also an ardent follower of Sebastian Vettel and Aston Martin Racing.

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