Toto Wolff comments on George Russell mistake

George Russell rose to fifth in the Drivers' Championship after finishing fifth at the 2023 Monaco GP.

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff was quick to admit after Sunday’s Monaco Grand Prix that George Russell’s costly error at Mirabeau stole a podium from the Silver Arrows, with the Briton having revealed that he should’ve been “focusing more”.

Russell was having a quiet afternoon at the Circuit de Monaco before everything started to play into his favour, following a late downpour.

The 25-year-old had been in eighth for the bulk of the race but was promoted to third when those ahead of him made their mandatory pit stops, something Russell was leaving until the end of the race.

Due to the intensity of the rain though, everybody was forced to pit for Intermediate tyres, meaning Russell was able to go from his initial set of tyres straight to the Intermediates.

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Essentially, the Mercedes driver made one pit-stop less than those around him, meaning he remained in third after pitting for Intermediates.

All Russell had to do was bring his W14 home for a shock P3, something he threw away almost immediately.

Russell locked-up and ran into the escape road at Mirabeau on his out-lap, dropping him from third to fifth.

To add to his woes, Russell collided with Sergio Perez when re-joining the circuit, something he was awarded a five-second time penalty and two penalty points for.

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Following the time penalty, Russell seemingly started to panic, with him having begun asking Mercedes to let him overtake Lewis Hamilton for fourth.

Russell wanted to overtake Hamilton to build a big enough gap to ensure he still finished fifth, ahead of Charles Leclerc who was in sixth.

The Silver Arrows denied Russell’s multiple requests, with Wolff having ultimately spoken to Russell on the team radio.

Wolff instructed Russell to calm down and focus, something he ultimately did.

With Leclerc having struggled for pace, Russell held on for fifth with ease, ensuring that Mercedes claimed a solid 4-5 finish in their first race with the new concept.

Wolff explained after the race that the he might need to “consult” with Russell regarding team order requests in the future, with the Austrian noting that the Silver Arrows should’ve had a podium.

READ: George Russell breaks silence on Toto Wolff telling off in Monaco

“He generally puts a lot of pressure on himself, that’s his way,” Wolff told ServusTV.

“We might have to consult and coordinate. I don’t think he also really thought we would swap positions. I said we are not even discussing that. Staying calm is important. Without his exit, it would have been a podium finish, we were ahead of Ocon.

“It was a race where you could do a lot wrong and fly off the track, but the pace was really good in the rain, the strategy choices were right, and then that’s a result we can be happy with today.”