Williams driver Russell collided with Bottas when attempting to overhaul for ninth place at high-speed throughout Sunday’s Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, leading to a sizeable crash.
The incident left particles strewn throughout the observe and brought on the race to be red-flagged, and sparked indignant reactions from each Russell and Bottas, who blamed one another.
Mercedes workforce principal Wolff stated that, whereas there was “by no means such a scenario in life the place one is 100% in charge and the opposite zero”, he questioned why Russell made the transfer that he did, notably as a Mercedes younger driver.
“The entire scenario ought to have by no means occurred,” Wolff stated. “Valtteri had a nasty first 30 laps, and shouldn’t have been there. However George ought to have by no means launched into this manoeuvre, contemplating that the observe was drying up.
“It meant taking dangers, and the opposite automobile is a Mercedes in entrance of him. In any driver’s growth, for a younger driver, you will need to by no means lose this international perspective.
“So yeah, tons to be taught for him I suppose.”
Russell has been a member of Mercedes’ younger driver programme since 2017, and has been tipped as a doable future driver for the senior workforce.
Marshals clear the broken automobile of Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes W12, from the gravel lure
Photograph by: Charles Coates / Motorsport Images
Wolff felt Russell ought to have dealt with the scenario in another way given he was preventing in opposition to a Mercedes automobile.
“You could see that there’s a Mercedes and it’s moist, it bears a sure threat to overhaul,” Wolff stated.
“And the chances are in opposition to him anyway when the observe is drying up. Now I don’t need him to attempt to show something to us, as a result of one factor I can say since understanding Valtteri for 5 years, he’s not attempting to show something.”
Following the incident, Russell questioned why Bottas made the move he did when battling for ninth place, saying: “Maybe if it was one other driver, he wouldn’t have. In order that’s what went via my thoughts.”
Russell has been tipped as a doable successor to Bottas at Mercedes, doubtlessly as early as 2022.
When instructed the quote by Autosport, Wolff stated the suggestion was “bullshit”.
“The entire scenario is totally not amusing for us, to be sincere,” Wolff stated.
“It’s fairly a giant shunt. Our automobile is nearly a write-off in a cost-cap surroundings that’s definitely what we wanted, and possibly it’s going to restrict upgrades that we’re in a position to do.
“Merely the truth that we ended there by shedding it within the moist, as a result of there was no contact, shedding it on the moist, and making each automobiles crash out will not be what I anticipate to see.”