Wolff Labels Moment From Austrian GP As 'Single Dumbest Thing' He Has Done In 12 Years

Wednesday, 03 July 2024 at 14:00
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Toto Wolff- the team principal of the Mercedes F1 team, asserted he was highly embarrassed by one thing he did during the 2024 Austrian Grand Prix.
Mercedes came into the 11th round of the 2024 season in Austria as the third-fastest team, knowing that only an incident at the front could help them win the race.
Unexpectedly, that was exactly what happened seven laps before the end of the race when Max Verstappen and Lando Norris collided on the entry into turn number 3.
Both drivers suffered a puncture, and it became clear that George Russell (running in P3 at the time) would very likely win the race.
That was the point when the Mercedes team principal got a bit overexcited and screamed on Russsell's team radio, "George, you can win this! You can win this, George!"
The 26-year-old did not share this excitement at that point as he rather angrily shouted back: "Just let me f*****g drive!" Speaking to the media right after the race, the British driver explained what happened from his point of view:

"Suddenly, I had Toto screaming in my ear, you know, you can win this, and almost crashed when he screamed into my ears it was that loud."

"But I think it just goes to show the passion that we all share, and it's obviously been a tough couple of years for us. It feels great to be back on the top step."

Reflecting on what he did, the Austrian team principal labeled his excited, impulsive team radio as the single dumbest thing he has done in 12 years of directing at Mercedes.

"This one is the single dumbest thing I've done in 12 years at Mercedes. I will be forever ashamed because you look at where you message the driver and you don't do it during braking. Or in high-speed corners."

"But I didn't look on the GPS. I just saw these two taking each other out, and we anticipated it, and then just emotionally pressed the button and said, 'We can win this.' I could have taken him out with that message! Imagine how that could have felt."

This wasn't the first time in the 2024 season that Toto Wolff spoke to his drivers on the team radio, which, by the way, is something that almost none of the remaining nine team principals do. He added:

"I'm emotional. I enjoy us doing well and I enjoy seeing Lewis and George doing well. I was just carried away with that situation, but seriously, embarrassing!"