Toto Wolff admits George Russell was ‘leading fair and square’ from Lewis Hamilton

Lewis Hamilton's podium in Australia marked his 17th consecutive season of claiming a rostrum finish.

Last weekend’s Australian Grand Prix was certainly chaotic, with three red flags and three standing starts, carnage ensued throughout.

All of the carnage and chaos, though, was followed by a truly bizarre incident during the podium celebrations, just to sum up what was an unforgettable Sunday afternoon at the Albert Park Circuit.

Reigning World Champion Max Verstappen claimed victory in Melbourne to extend his lead in the Drivers’ Championship to 15 points, whilst Fernando Alonso claimed a third consecutive P3 finish for Aston Martin, to the delight of the Silverstone-based team.

Red Bull and Aston Martin employees could be seen celebrating as usual at the podium, whilst Lewis Hamilton had nobody.

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Hamilton claimed his and Mercedes’ first podium of the 2023 F1 season after finishing in a brilliant second place, following a great drive.

Weirdly, though, his team were nowhere to be seen after he jumped out of the car, with Hamilton having asked “Where the f*** is my team?”.

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff could be seen at the back of a crowd when the podium itself was taking place; however, nobody was there in time for Hamilton to celebrate with anyone.

Even after the podium had concluded, Hamilton still hadn’t seen his team, meaning he had no idea if they were happy or not.

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“I don’t know what [this P2] means to the team because I haven’t seen anybody, if I’m honest. But, for me, this is an incredible result for us,” Hamilton said in the media pen after the race.

There were certainly mixed emotions amongst the Silver Arrows, with George Russell having retired from the race following a sudden power unit failure.

READ: Lewis Hamilton will retire if Mercedes ‘B’ car doesn’t let him fight Max Verstappen

Had it not been for the engine failure, then Wolff believes Russell “could have probably won the race”.

“He [Russell] was leading the race fair and square with a great start and we went on to a bold strategy with pitting early for the hard, and I think it could have probably won the race for him,” Wolff told Channel 4.

“[We were] very much [at] the front and so it’s a shame first with the red flag and then with the engine damage.”