Toto Wolff: “The frustration for Lewis is immense”

© Steve Etherington for Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Ltd.

Toto Wolff says “it can’t possibly be worse” than having your DRS stuck, “the first time the car is quick enough to fight for a pole position”.

George Russell surprised everyone when he put his car on pole at the Hungarian Grand Prix Qualifying. Unfortunately, Lewis Hamilton managed to qualify only in P7, because of a DRS issue.

Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff says it was extremely frustrating for Lewis not to be able to fight for pole, the first time his car is actually competitive.

“Certainly, the frustration for Lewis is immense,” the Austrian said.

“It’s the first time the car is quick enough to fight for a pole position and his DRS gets stuck. It can’t possibly be worse in the context of having fought so hard all year to have a quick car.

“And then your team-mate – and I have no doubt he thinks absolutely deserves to be on pole – is right there.

“But he is really good at compartmentalising and digesting, and I have no doubt tomorrow is another day.

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“There are a few guys in front who I feel we have more race pace than them, he can get back there, and who knows what happens tomorrow.”

Wolff then went on to praise Russell and call him a “champion in the making”.

“It’s George’s first pole position and that will always be something special for him, and us, because it’s a moment to remember.

“George had his extraordinary performances in the junior series and he had it at Spa in the rain [in 2021]. This is just another milestone of the many he’s going to achieve.

“George is a champion in the making. He was a champion in all the junior categories, in F3 and F2 as a rookie.

“We would never have put him in a Mercedes if we never believed he could be a future world champion,” Wolff concluded.

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