‘We’re a bit down’: Wolff emotionless after double points haul in Miami

George Russell's gamble paid off as he capitalised on a Safety Car to finish fifth in Miami on Sunday.

Toto Wolff (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 Shareholder and Executive Director in the FIA Press Conference. Miami Grand Prix, Saturday 7th May 2022. Miami International Autodrome, Miami, Florida, USA..v1

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff had no strong feelings after George Russell and Sir Lewis Hamilton ended the Miami Grand Prix fifth and sixth, respectively.

Russell was left “confused” after the he was unable to make it out of Q2 on Saturday having looked strong on Friday, but starting on the Hards, he slowly began to make his way back up the order as the medium runners made their stops.

Hamilton was left relieved after his qualifying performance that saw him start sixth, but he took contact on the opening lap from Fernando Alonso as both the Spaniard and Pierre Gasly made their way through on the opening lap, but the Briton soon used the upgraded Mercedes speed to dispatch both of them.

READ: ‘That’s what your job is!’ Hamilton slams Mercedes after finishing behind Russell in Miami GP

Russell was gambling on a Safety Car towards the end of the race so that he could stop to remove the hard tyres and re-join in a competitive position, and he got just that when Gasly whacked Lando Norris, causing a race ending puncture for the 22-year-old.

Mercedes were then hesitant in deciding whether to pit their 37-year-old or leave him out, and he eventually stayed on older Mediums, leaving him vulnerable to his team-mate.

They were each gifted a position when Bottas ran wide at Turn 17 and, following a feisty battle of the Britons, Russell eventually cleared the seven-time champion to finish fifth.

It is the fourth time this season that both Mercedes cars have finished the race in the points, but just two of them have yielded a podium finish as Red Bull and Ferrari dominated another weekend in Florida.

It is for this reason that Wolff is relatively unmoved by the result.

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“George stayed out a long time and we were betting on a Safety Car and that materialised from nowhere and it went against Lewis who lost a position,” he told Sky Sports. 

“At the end of the day there is no happy or not happy moment at the moment just because we’re a bit down.

“We’re third quickest on the road and we’re in no man’s land. We had a good Friday. We need to dissect why that was and then come back.

“This is where we are. We’re not as quick in qualifying and we are behind the Red Bulls and Ferrari.”

Russell left the circuit during his first attempt at passing Hamilton at Turn 11, but a late-braking move on the outside at the same corner eventually gained him the place in the first real fight we have seen between the new Mercedes line-up this season.

READ: Lewis Hamilton ‘grateful’ for improved qualifying performance in Miami

The 24-year-old enjoyed the wheel-to-wheel action with the Stevenage-born racer, but acknowledges the slice of fortune that eventually helped him to fifth.

“When you are battling with your team-mate you have to show a bit of respect, more room than normal and I went a bit wide but it is so dirty offline round this circuit and I had to do it all over again,” he explained. 

“I enjoyed it and there is good respect between us but Lewis was unlucky today on those old, hard tyres. There is a lot of work to do.”

Russell now sits 23 points ahead of Hamilton in the Drivers’ Championship, but this weekend looked like a step in the right direction for the German outfit as they seek to master the new technical regulations.

Having acquired plenty of data in Miami, they will head to Barcelona with an upgraded car that they hope can get them closer to the fight at the front.