After a challenging Brazilian Grand Prix, Mercedes team chief Toto Wolff dismissed George Russell’s radio grievances, focusing on the car’s lack of pace. Russell, who retired due to overheating issues, had expressed frustration over the team’s performance, which Wolff attributed to the fundamental slowness of the car.
Despite voicing his discontent over the team radio regarding Mercedes’ strategy and performance, team principal Toto Wolff has characterized Russell’s outburst as a minor concern compared to the overarching speed deficit of the car.
Toto Wolff candidly acknowledged the core issue, stating that race management and communications are irrelevant when the car fundamentally lacks pace, dismissing the incident as a “complete sideshow.”
The entire Mercedes crew, including Lewis Hamilton, expressed dissatisfaction with the car’s performance, with Wolff labeling it as “inexcusable” and emphasizing the need for reflection and improvement before the season’s conclusion.
As the dust settled on the São Paulo Grand Prix, Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team’s Toto Wolff faced the media with a mixture of resignation and resolve.
Russell’s candid communications via team radio prior to his retirement became a focal point. He questioned the team’s tactics, stating, “Are we working together here or are we just doing our own race?” These remarks, while echoing a racer’s in-the-moment frustrations, were later downplayed by Wolff, who contended that the real issue was not strategy but sheer speed—or the lack thereof.
Wolff’s dismissal of the radio chatter as “a complete sideshow” underlines a much deeper concern for Mercedes. The once-dominant constructor is now grappling with performance unpredictability that’s confounding both engineers and drivers.
In an uncharacteristically stark admission, Wolff described the team’s showing in Brazil as “inexcusable,” reflecting the gravity of their current situation.
“Inexcusable performance,” Wolff said. “There are no words. That car finished second last week and the week before and whatever we did to it was horrible.
“Lewis survived out there, but I can only feel for the two driving such a miserable thing. It shows how difficult the car is and it’s on a knife’s edge.
“This car doesn’t deserve a win. But the performance today, I’m just lacking words.”