Toto Wolff quashes seriousness of George Russell’s radio messages

George Russell asked Mercedes during the Brazilian GP whether himself and Lewis Hamilton were working together.

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff has stressed that he has no issues at all with George Russell’s radio messages being broadcasted during last weekend’s Brazilian Grand Prix, as the “fundamental issue” was the car.

The Silver Arrows endured an absolutely shocking weekend at Interlagos, to the point that Wolff described it as the team’s worst since they returned to Formula 1 in 2010.

Russell and Lewis Hamilton struggled for one-lap pace and race pace throughout the weekend, whilst tyre degradation was also a huge issue.

This was a huge shock, given just how good Mercedes often are on their tyres.

Want to work in Formula 1? Browse the latest F1 job vacancies

Hamilton and Russell were together for the bulk of their opening stint during the race, with Russell having been very talkative over the radio.

The King’s Lynn-born driver was asking the team about whether himself and Hamilton were “working together”, before he bluntly informed the Germans that he’d “go backwards” if he managed his car more as instructed.

“My feeling is we don’t have the pace,” Russell said over the radio. “I’m sliding. Are we working together here or are we just doing our own race?

“Do you want to race or concede positions? You want more management, or we go backwards.”

Article continues below

Russell ended up dropping outside the top-10, before he retired from the race due to concerns with his power unit.

Nevertheless, his radio messages were a talking point after the race, with Wolff having insisted that everything said was “completely irrelevant” given just how bad the car was.

“I think the race [management] and the messages for us today are completely irrelevant,” Wolff said, as reported by

“There was nothing to manage or nothing to say, it’s a complete sideshow. I think the fundamental issue is that the car was slow.

“So, I’ve no problem with things being broadcasted or not because whether it’s controversial or not, fundamentally if there’s no performance like that and it’s off then who cares?”

Just like the W13, the W14 appears to be a diva, with Russell being puzzled at how the car can go from finishing on the podium in Mexico City to struggling to even score a point.

He insisted that something didn’t “add up” in regard to just how bad the car was, or why he was “sliding around” so much.

READ: Charles Leclerc makes Ferrari demand amid Mercedes fight

“Still not too sure what that is as yet,” Russell said. “But the pace just hasn’t been there. We thought yesterday may have been a one off but clearly it wasn’t.

“The car was just slow this weekend. The tyres were just sliding around, and I think that what we were doing was the maximum.

“As I said, something doesn’t quite add up, we don’t just suddenly lose a second’s worth of performance and go from a podium fighting car, to just fighting for points.”