Wolff Reveals Bottas-Russell Crash Could Limit Mercedes Upgrades

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff said George Russell shouldn’t have tried to overtake Valtteri Bottas at that part of the circuit given the conditions.

Valtteri Bottas' Mercedes at Imola after his crash with George Russell - Formula1news.co.uk

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff has said the high-speed crash between Valtteri Bottas and George Russell during Sunday’s Emilia Romagna Grand Prix is likely to limit the Silver Arrows’ ability to bring upgrades this season.

Both cars suffered heavy damage after Russell’s Williams hit Bottas’ Mercedes and triggered two separate heavy impacts with the barriers on either side of the circuit at Tamburello.

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After the race, Russell questioned why Bottas decided to defend so hard, as only a couple of points were at stake, and suggested he wouldn’t have done so had it been another driver who was trying to overtake him.

Wolff was quick to insist that this is “bullsh*t” and said the “whole situation should have never happened.”

Speaking after the race at Imola, Wolff said: “The whole situation is absolutely not amusing for us, to be honest.

“It’s quite a big shunt. Our car is almost a write-off in a cost-cap environment, that is certainly not what we needed, and probably it’s going to limit upgrades that we’re able to do.

“Simply the fact that we ended there by losing it in the wet, because there was no contact, losing it on the wet, and making both cars crash out is not what I expect to see.

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“The whole situation should have never happened, Valtteri had a bad first 30 laps, and shouldn’t have been there. But George should have never launched into this manoeuvre, considering that the track was drying up.

“It meant taking risks, and the other car is a Mercedes in front of him. In any driver’s development, for a young driver, you must never lose this global perspective.

“Now I don’t want him to try to prove anything to us, because one thing I can say since knowing Valtteri for five years, he’s not trying to prove anything. So yeah, lots to learn for him I guess,” the Austrian added.

Despite the incident, Mercedes still came out of round two of the season at the summit of the Constructors’ Championship, as Sir Lewis Hamilton finished the Emilia Romagna GP in P2 and Red Bull’s second driver Sergio Perez crossed the finish line just outside the points in eleventh.

READ: ‘F***’: Perez Furious But Optimistic After Missing Out On Pole At Imola