Toto Wolff says there were some “unpleasant situations that we have talked about” while he was away, but he sees it “with a relatively relaxed stance”.
Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff was forced to miss the Japanese and Qatar grands prix, due to a knee operation.
Now that Toto is back, he was asked to explain how involved he was with what was happening at the track in his absence.
“I was completely plugged in,” the Austrian said.
“I have pit-wall or centre console set-up at home. So, part of every briefing or debriefing and the conversations during the race.
“But obviously you got to let the guys here fly the aeroplane, because when you’re remote, I need to almost always take myself back a little bit.
“Because you’re distant. You don’t look into the faces, you don’t see what’s going on emotionally, with the people around you.
“And you feel, in a certain way, detached. So, it’s not something that I enjoy, but it was a necessity.”
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Asked to assess what transpired while he was gone, Toto said:
“Well, there were some, let’s say, unpleasant situations that we have talked about. Lots of points that we left on the table, but there is nobody more aware than the drivers.
“And sometimes you need these moments to recalibrate and recondition and avoid similar situations in the future.
“But they’re racing drivers: they compete hard. Your first competitor is your teammate, and therefore, I see it with a relatively relaxed stance. And I’m back.”
Asked if he thinks there is a link between his absence and what happened between Hamilton and Russell, Toto explained:
“No, I don’t think. We’ve laughed about that too in the team, but I don’t think it had an effect.
“I think we are racing more in the front now. I think we have a sniff, you know, how it is looking like to have no car in front of you with the McLarens and with Max there.
“In any case, we’ll never find out, I’m back,” he concluded.