Wolff: Replacing Bottas with Russell 'not realistic'
Dec.7 - Toto Wolff has played down suggestions that Mercedes might be on the cusp of a sensational driver lineup change for 2021.
Although a new contract with Lewis Hamilton is not signed yet, the team had intended to line up with the seven time world champion alongside Valtteri Bottas - who has signed a 2021 deal.
But that was before Hamilton contracted covid-19, and George Russell came within what team boss Wolff describes as a "colossal f*** up" by the team of victory on Sunday.
"It won't be his last attempt to win a race," Wolff said of Russell's performance.
"It's just the beginning of a fairy tale that didn't work out today. I would say 'a new star is born'."
Wolff said Russell, 22, managed to get ahead and then stay ahead of Bottas although he "did not fit in the car and the levers were too small for his hands".
But he denied that Mercedes will now try to extract Russell from his 2021 Williams contract.
"George is a Mercedes driver but also a Williams driver with a Williams contract," said Wolff. "And our lineup is Valtteri and Lewis. So I do not see that scenario as realistic.
"But I do understand that this would be an interesting decision for all of us. Perhaps we will do this in the future.
"That's why I don't see this as a sad day - this is a day on which the team learned something. We learned that we can count on George Russell in the future."
As for Russell, he said he is "gutted" about Sunday's result - but also glad he managed to transmit the intended message.
"Hopefully Toto will now find himself in a difficult position when planning the future. If I've managed to achieve that, that in itself is a small victory."
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I think for the last race George should stay in the merc even if Lewis is better. Lewis should go into George's Williams and then we'll see if he can score any points in the slowest car of the field! We'll see how good Lewis really is then
Unfortunately that won't happen but what a thought.
TOTO>>>>Lewis may have dug his own grave, by not yet re-signing for next season, Give the Champ the flick, and grab GEORGE, You will SAVE about 45 MILLION
bro you are totally right.even if hamilton is good driver,he must drive other cars.Merc is so good now.No matter you are good driver The job ends in the cars.
Local ex F2 driver wonders if the cock up could have been arranged. After all it would have proved a lot about the car if Russell had won, and less about Hamilton. We know Mercedes make sidewinder look straight but wasn't it fortuitous that after nearly a whole season faultless that the radio suddenly failed?
If I was Toto Wolff now I would hire Russell for Mercedes for at least until 2024. And I seriously would fight as hard as possible to get him extracted from the slow Williams.
Russell's excellence is shaded by a dreadful car that can do at best 340 kph. (That's at Monza)
He deserves better than Williams. That's one thing Toto just doesn't seem to understand. Lewis could be thrown out immediately as he has said he's ready to leave F1 if the contract doesn't happen.
Also, Mercedes will get around $ 30M more to develop their cars if Russell is signed as Lewis requires at least a $ 40M season salary.
OK, so what we suspected is true. Here's the syllogism. The car has become 80+% of F1 success. The car is dependent on who spends the most money. The most money wins in F1. Ergo, forget gazillion dollar drivers. Spend the bucks on the car. Easy peasy. LOL
Right on! You have summarized past 70 years F1 history in one paragraph. Congratulations
ALLA MERCEDES FA' INDUBBIAMENTE COMODO AVERE "UN SECONDO PILOTA" COME BOTTAS PER VINCERE PROBABILMENTE L'OTTAVO TITOLOCHE SARANNO IN DUE ! E PER IL RESTO NESSUNO SA ESSERE GLACIALE E GUARDARE AD UN FUTURO DIVERSO,FORSE,COME UN MANAGER DI LIVELLO COME TOTO WOLF PERCHE' DOMANI A VINCERE,PROBABILMENTE L'OTTAVO TITOLO SARA' SI HAMILTON MA ANCHE LA MERCEDES CHE POI FORSE FARA' COME TANTI ANNI FA', GRAZIE A TUTTI ARRIVEDERCI.
I have always said it is the car, not the driver. Most of the F1 drivers could win in a Mercedes. Maybe that is why Hamilton is driving this weekend. Doesn't want Russell to (nearly) do it again to prove a point a lot of F1 followers think.
First of all I am Honest I am not a Fan of the Big Baby that is Lewis Hamilton.
I thoroughly believe last week tyre fiasco at Shikra was contrived. To show Lewis was a better driver, I believe that is not the case. George Russell proved it is the CAR that wins NOT the driver! Put Lewis Hamilton in the Williams and lets see how good a Driver her is!