After the horror crash that involved Valtteri Bottas and George Russell, Toto Wolff takes the defense of his Finn driver, saying that Russell’s move was a bit too aggressive.
During lap 32, Russell and Bottas came together, causing a terrific accident at more than 185 miles per hour (300 kph). The Briton was under DRS, trying to overtake Bottas’ Mercedes, in order to claim the ninth position.
Bottas first shifted towards the left of the track, before going back to the right while Russell was on his side. He left enough space for two cars, nonetheless, the Briton anticipated the change of direction from the Mercedes driver and put a wheel on the grass, causing him to lose control and collide with Bottas.
Neither Russell nor Bottas admitted being at fault yet, some think the Finn should have defended less aggressively and that he broke the gentlemen’s agreement concerning defensive moves in a straight line, while others think Russell could have stayed on track, considering he had enough space to do so.
After this terrible incident, Mercedes’ team principal, Toto Wolff spoke his mind, admitting that he can understand the arguments from both parties but thinks Russell might have been over-aggressive and could have waited for a better opportunity to overtake a Mercedes car, which is of course way faster than the FW43B.
“It takes two to tango. (…) I can understand it from both drivers’ perspectives, but if you look at it from a global perspective, from where we sit at Mercedes, it’s something that shouldn’t be happening. I think both of them think that they are not to blame and I will need to make the point that this is not clear-cut for me,” says Wolff.
“It was quite a move on the DRS, but I guess when a driver doesn’t go for a gap, he isn’t a racing driver. On the other side, maybe it was too aggressive, considering that it was a Mercedes and the track was drying up.”