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Wolff: Russel need to rule out errors

Wolff says Russel needs to remove errors

Toto Wolff, Mercedes Formula 1 team principal, appreciated George Russel’s efforts to reduce mistakes. He believes it led to his better performance, which is not primarily supported by speed.

Russel stepped in at Sakhir Grand Prix last year for Lewis Hamilton. The seven times world champion had to miss the race after being diagnosed with corona virus.

The Brit, 22 year old driver, illustrated his driving abilities and remain prominent through out the race. His outstanding performance was applauded despite missing an opportunity to win the race.

Russel outperforming Bottas has called for a seat at Mercedes. Many thinks that his performance speaks for himself. But Wolff does not get carried away and believes another year at Williams will be critical for the Brit.

Wolff particularly recalled the incident at Imola where he crashed behind safety car. He believes that young driver had to remove errors before he is handed an opportunity of front line driver

Red More: Russel’s lessons learned from Sakhir GP

Wolff commented on Russell’s progress: “Winning Formula 1 championships is about making the least amount of mistakes. And that only comes with routine and experience.

“Mercedes expects these kind of sustainable performance levels. And that’s why you need to give young drivers time.

“Because as exuberant as they may be perceived after the performance that we’ve seen [at the Sakhir GP] from George, at the same time, young drivers will be criticised, and criticised quickly, when they make mistakes in such a high pressure environment like a top team.

“That’s why making experiences like in Imola, and learning from that, is very important to form a driver that can perform at a sustainable high level.”

Wolff trusts Russel’s talent

Despite Wolff push for improvement, he believes that Russel has the required talent.

“We believed in George because there’s not many drivers out there that have won junior championships as rookies, especially not in the very competitive GP3 and F2 championships,” said Wolff.

“For us, [using him as replacement for Hamilton] was a possibility to confirm what we were thinking about George. It was unfortunate that this opportunity came with Lewis having been out.

“I would have wished it would have happened in a different way, but it gave us a set of data points to look at. And in a way it affirmed how we judged him.

“It was also an advantage for him and Williams. He was going to go back to his team with a lot of learning, with more understanding. And this is why I think for him personally and for Williams, it was advantageous.”

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