Mercedes F1 boss Toto Wolff expressed his support for protégé George Russell after the Williams driver’s painful exit from the Emilia Romagna GP, insisting the Briton’s blunder was “part of the development process”.
Russell threw away a potential career first top-ten finish on Sunday at Imola, losing control of his Williams as he tried to keep his tyres warm behind the Safety Car in the closing stages of the event.
A gutted Russell owned up to the mishap after the race, apologizing to his team, insisting it was the biggest mistake he had ever made in his career.
On social media, Lewis Hamilton and Romain Grosjean, among others, offered the Briton a few heartfelt words of support. And Wolff has followed suit, referencing Hamilton, Valtteri Bottas and Nico Rosberg who all learned from their mistakes.
“That is all part of the development process,” said Wolff after Sunday’s race. “What makes Lewis and Valtteri so special, and before Nico, was the experience they gained.
“I think everybody needs to put a car in the wall behind the safety car. We’ve seen that from the most experienced ones and making mistakes under pressure.
“And I think what George has done today, happened to the best ones. It feels awful for him right now, but it’s going to sink in, be like a scar, and he’s going to be a better driver in the future.”
Read also: Hamilton offers moral support to bummed out Russell
Former Mercedes and Williams technical director Paddy Lowe also chimed in on social media, telling Russell he was “in great company” when it comes to great drivers making mistakes, alluding to Alain Prost’s spinning out of the 1991 San Marino GP at Imola on a wet formation lap.
“Put it behind you, George Russell, you are in great company. Imagine spinning out on the formation lap in a Ferrari at Imola when already 3x champion. Everybody makes mistakes.”
Put it behind you @GeorgeRussell63 you are in great company …. imagine spinning out on the formation lap in a Ferrari at Imola when already 3x champion. Everybody makes mistakes. https://t.co/QwbVQPyGge
— Paddy Lowe (@paddylowe) November 1, 2020
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