‘Stuck in the loop of being upset’ George Russell grateful for Toto Wolff’s message

George Russell finished P3 at the 2022 French Grand Prix, just behind Mercedes team-mate Sir Lewis Hamilton.

Sir Lewis Hamilton and George Russell secured the Mercedes F1 Team’s first double-podium of the season, after the young Briton completed a late move on Red Bull Racing’s Sergio Pérez to claim third.

Russell made his move on the penultimate lap of the race, after catching the Mexican driver napping.

The British driver pounced on the Red Bull man as the race’s late Virtual Safety Car came to an end, after Guanyu Zhou’s stricken C42 had been retrieved safely.

As the VSC ended and the flags turned green, Pérez was slow to get back up to racing speed, whereas Russell was straight on the throttle.

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Russell sweeped around the outside of Pérez, and held on to claim his first podium finish since the Azerbaijan Grand Prix.

However, Russell’s first attempt at overtaking the Mexican ended with the Brit having to be calmed down by Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff, after Russell was left furious with Pérez.

Prior to the VSC, Russell attempted a divebomb on Pérez at Turn Eight; however, it ended up with the pair colliding.

Russell quickly blamed Pérez for the collision, and demanded that he should be given the position.

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The Brit continued to moan on the radio, resulting in Wolff telling the former Williams driver to “keep his head down”.

“Emotions were high then, obviously for all of us, because I felt like I did a mega-move on Checo and ultimately didn’t get to keep the position and we definitely had a bit more pace there,” Russell told RaceFans.

“I quite enjoyed hearing Toto on the radio,” said Russell. “We’re in this together as a team.

“When you’re sat in the car, sometimes you do feel a bit alone, because we’re in the car, we’re doing everything we can, and you don’t know what the engineers are looking at.

“The engineers don’t totally feel what we’re feeling within the car. Sometimes having these exchanges brings it a little bit closer together.”

Wolff is rarely heard on the team radio, and usually takes a back seat during the race.

After the race, the Austrian explained that he spoke to Russell to help the Brit regain his “concentration”.

“I felt that he was a little bit stuck in the loop of being upset about the situation,” said Wolff.

“Obviously, as a driver, you’re in your little cockpit and I felt that he had the pace, he just needed to drop the upset-ness and concentrate or whatever.”

Wolff continued to discuss the fact that he knew Russell had the pace to beat Pérez “on the track”, something which he did with his “clever” overtake after the VSC.

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“He could beat him on the track and at the end it was just clever and there was a bit of confusion with the Virtual Safety Car and he just did it,” said Wolff.

Wolff first spoke to Russell on the radio after the Brit was unhappy with Pérez’s driving, and although he wasn’t awarded a penalty, the Briton later overtook him to finish in P3.