Toto Wolff labels Canadian GP win “a short dream” after first podium of F1 2024

Toto Wolff reflects on whether Canada was a missed opportunity to take a win for Mercedes.

Toto Wolff (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 Shareholder and Executive Director. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 2, Saudi Arabian
Toto Wolff (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 Shareholder and Executive Director…

Toto Wolff has labelled the prospect of Mercedes winning the F1 Canadian Grand Prix as a “short dream” after George Russell finished third.

Russell led the early stages of Sunday’s race at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve from pole position.

However, the Mercedes driver dropped to third after making a mistake in the final chicane when being overtaken by McLaren’s Lando Norris.

Russell had got back into second-place after the Safety Car phase but dropped behind again due to another mistake.

His progress was once again thwarted as he duelled Oscar Piastri into the final chicane - he was forced into the wet run-off, which dropped him behind teammate Lewis Hamilton.

A ballsy move in the closing laps allowed Russell to re-take the podium place but it was a missed opportunity for Mercedes, which arguably had the quickest car in dry conditions.

Reflecting on Russell’s chances of toppling Max Verstappen, Wolff told Sky Sports F1 after the race: “A victory was maybe a long shot, or a short dream. 

"When George was on the hard, catching up and was showing really strong pace, maybe for a second we thought about it, but you mustn't be too greedy.”

George Russell (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W15. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 9, Canadian Grand Prix, Montreal, Canada, Race
George Russell (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W15. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd…

Russell lost crucial time when battling Piastri into the final sequence of corners.

But Wolff felt that duel in particular cost Russell a shot at second, rather than the victory.

"On one side there was brilliance in the race, and then on the other side, maybe he could have avoided," Wolff added. “I think the pass [on Piastri] was never on in that corner.

“As a driver, what makes his overtakes good are that he takes a risk and he drivers very hard, and this one was maybe a bit too ambitious, cost a position, but he regained that afterwards.

"I think P2 was on in the end. I don't know whether Lando had an issue, was dropping off, took it easy, but equally it could have been another position without that.

“But what could have been is not relevant. What's important is that we provided the drivers with a quick car. We need to take the positive because we have taken a real step forward, we're bringing bits, and the development direction is true.”

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