Toto Wolff says there are no ‘rules of engagement’ for George Russell

© Steve Etherington for Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Ltd.

Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff clarified there are  no ‘rules of engagement’ when George Russell is fighting Lewis Hamilton or Valtteri Bottas.

After George Russell crashed with Valtteri Bottas at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, Toto Wolff was visibly upset and said that Russell, a Mercedes junior driver, should be more careful when fighting a Mercedes.

Many have interpreted this as Toto Wolff using Mercedes’ influence to stop a driver who drives for a different team from jeopardizing his drivers. At the Portuguese Grand Prix Friday press conference, Wolff dismissed such notions.

“I think I want most of [the conversations] to stay confidential because I had discussions with both of the drivers,” the Austrian said.

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“Drivers have to go for a gap, and sometimes it’s evaluating whether it’s taking a risk or not. I guess that a young driver will always go for the possibility and nothing else is expected.

“Then the question is, is there enough reaction time to take to evaluate who is the other car? I think not. So in a way, there is never 100% blame on one and zero on the other one.

“It’s probably always much more nuanced and I’m really happy about the conversation we had. There is no confusion on any side, and there are no rules for any of the drivers.

“It was just us giving feedback,” concluded Wolff.

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