Toto Wolff intervenes as Lewis Hamilton and George Russell clash in Qatar

Mark Scott
Lewis Hamilton beached in the Qatar gravel.

Lewis Hamilton stuck in the gravel after colliding with George Russell on the first lap in Qatar.

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff was forced to interject after an angry George Russell reacted to his first lap collision with team-mate Lewis Hamilton.

The Mercedes duo will have done little to help Wolff’s rehabilitation and recovery from a knee operation after the Silver Arrows chief witnessed his two drivers crash on the dash to Turn 1 at the Qatar Grand Prix.

Tensions have been rising between the pair in recent weeks, with a ding-dong battle in Suzuka now escalating into this latest flashpoint.

Toto Wolff makes intervention from home

Whilst Wolff is not trackside, he has built himself a pit wall back at home and responded quickly to an incredibly frustrated Russell, who fell all the way to the bottom of the pack from P2 as a result of the collision with Hamilton. The seven-time World Champion, who was forced to retire from the race, put the blame firmly at the door of Russell.

Russell: “I’m f***ing lost for words, honestly. I’ve just seen the replays on the TV screen…couldn’t do anything. Totally sandwiched.

Race engineer: “Keep your head down.Keep it in this race.”

Russell: “Yeah, I know, I know, I know. It’s just…f***ing lap one.”

Toto Wolff: “George…let’s race now. Let’s do the best out of it.”

Prior to this exchange, Russell also shared further initial thoughts on the collision.

“So sorry, guys,” he said. “I wasn’t even looking behind, I was just focused ahead and he came from nowhere.

Russell would also make reference to their Japanese GP battle with the following remark, broadcasted on the worldwide TV feed.

“*********. Come on! What the hell?! Guys, come on, ****ing two races in a row!”

It initially looked like Russell may have to retire himself due to the damage caused in the Hamilton collision, but instead the Brit was able to deliver a stunning recovery drive to P4, finishing behind runaway race winner Max Verstappen and the two McLaren drivers of Oscar Piastri and Lando Norris completing the podium.

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