Wolff says Russell / Sainz contact at the US GP was a “racing incident”

© Steve Etherington for Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Ltd.

Toto Wolff says Mercedes was surprised George Russell did not retire from the United States Grand Prix, after he made contact with Carlos Sainz.

In the opening lap of the United States Grand Prix, George Russell made contact with Carlos Sainz which led to the Spaniard retiring from the race.

George then received a five-second penalty for “causing a collision”, but after the race Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff revealed this wasn’t the only problem the Briton suffered.

“We’ve just seen the front wing, it’s massively damaged,” the Austrian said.

“Not only the front wing endplate but also below and that’s the aero critical part, so he had a car that was not capable of doing more.”

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As for the incident itself, Wolff doesn’t think Russell should have been penalized.

“I think that the incident at turn one is a racing incident that maybe swung. If I was a steward I would look at it and it’s maybe, George had a late brake, maybe had a little understeer moment.

“Then Carlos cut in quite brutally. I don’t know if Max had an energy thing, so yeah it’s a shame.

“But we need to take it on the chin – the five seconds – and then the way he t-boned him, we were surprised that it was not a DNF,“ Wolff concluded.

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