Toto Wolff recognizes Russell’s ability to avoid mistakes at the Canadian Grand Prix.

George Russell celebrates at the end of the Formula 1 World Championship race in Montreal, Canada, on June 9, 2024. Mercedes boss Toto Wolff acknowledged that Russell made mistakes at the Canadian Grand Prix, but refuted the idea that it cost the team a victory. Russell led the race from pole position until lap 21, when Lando Norris passed him and established a significant lead. Although Russell regained second place when McLaren made a questionable decision at the pit wall, he made a mistake at Turn 8 and allowed Norris to pass him again. Russell subsequently made a pit stop under the safety car and finished in third place. Wolff believed beating Red Bull’s Max Verstappen was unlikely. When asked if Mercedes missed the opportunity to take its first victory since November 2022, Wolff stated that the victory was difficult. He mentioned that he had a fleeting thought of victory as Russell closed in on the leaders with strong pace, but cautioned against being too greedy. Russell attempted to pass Oscar Piastri at the final chicane, but ended up behind teammate Lewis Hamilton. Although Russell regained the positions from him in the closing laps, Wolff admitted that he should have been more cautious in his approach to McLaren. Wolff acknowledged Russell’s brilliance in the race, but also believed that he could have avoided making mistakes. He claimed that the overtake on Piastri was too ambitious and cost Russell a position. However, Wolff denied that the incident with Piastri prevented Russell from winning and instead focused on the positive aspects of Mercedes’ performance. He mentioned that P2 was within reach and emphasized the progress the team had made in terms of speed and car development.