Toto Wolff: George Russell radio call the ‘dumbest thing I’ve done’ at Mercedes

Toto Wolff labels his radio call to George Russell as the "dumbest" thing he has done at Mercedes.

Toto Wolff (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 Shareholder and Executive Director. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 11, Austrian Grand
Toto Wolff (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 Shareholder and Executive Director…

Toto Wolff has admitted his radio message to George Russell in the F1 Austrian Grand Prix was the “single dumbest thing I’ve done” during his time at Mercedes.

Russell took advantage of of a collision between race leaders Max Verstappen and Lando Norris to claim an unlikely second victory of his F1 career in Sunday’s dramatic race at the Red Bull Ring.

Following the clash which took Verstappen and Norris out of contention, Mercedes boss Wolff came over team radio to tell Russell “you can win this”. Russell responded by requesting Wolff to “let him drive”.

Explaining his interaction with Russell after the race, Wolff said he will be “forever ashamed” by the timing of his message.

“I think I know the drivers pretty well and what they need at times to encourage or to refocus, because I spend so much time with them. I think I know their psychology,” Wolff told media including in Austria.

Race winner George Russell (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 celebrates with Toto Wolff (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 Shareholder and Executive
Race winner George Russell (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 celebrates with Toto…

“But this one is the single dumbest thing I’ve done in 12 years at Mercedes. I will be forever ashamed because you look at where you message the driver and you don’t do it during braking. Or in high-speed corners.

“I didn’t look on the GPS I just saw these two taking each other out and we anticipated it, and then just emotionally pressed the button and said ‘we can win this’. I could have taken him out with that message! Imagine how that could have felt.

“I’m emotional. I enjoy us doing well and I enjoy seeing Lewis and George doing well. I was just carried away with that situation, but seriously, embarrassing!”

Russell said he “almost crashed” when Wolff told him that he could win the race.

"On those hard tyres for me was pretty difficult. And then suddenly I had Toto screaming in my ear, "you can win this!” Russell said.

"I almost crashed when he screamed into my ears, it was that loud, but I think it just goes to show the passion that we all share.

"It's obviously been a tough couple of years for us, so it feels great to be back on the top step."

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