Wolff admits frustrations following Hamilton and Russell Qatar crash but backs pair to 'grow' ahead of Austin

LUSAIL CITY, QATAR - OCTOBER 08: Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain and Mercedes looks on after

Toto Wolff admitted it was frustrating not to score more points in Qatar, after Lewis Hamilton and George Russell collided on the opening lap of the race. However, the Mercedes Team Principal backed the pair to move on from the incident as they look to get back on track in Austin this weekend.

Russell and Hamilton came together at Turn 1 at the start of the Grand Prix, with the latter looking to make his way round the outside of the former. While Hamilton’s race ended there and then in the gravel, Russell recovered to P4 after initially dropping to the back of the field.

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But Wolff was keen to leave the incident in the past, despite the obvious frustrations, turning his attentions to maximising this weekend’s Circuit of The Americas action, which kicks off the triple header that follows up with Mexico and concludes in Brazil.

"We have a busy couple of weeks coming up as the season reaches its conclusion, starting with a triple-header in the USA, Mexico, and Brazil," said Wolff, previewing the weekend on Mercedes' website.

"The last round in Qatar was a case of what might have been. As a team, you never want to see your cars collide. It was frustrating to leave a lot of points on the table, particularly as the pace of the car was strong.

Mercedes' British driver Lewis Hamilton (C) and Mercedes' British driver George Russell (L) walk on

Wolff says Hamilton and Russell know the team comes first

"It was encouraging though to see how the drivers and the team reacted. Both Lewis and George know the team comes first and do not ever intend to jeopardise that.

“I am sure we will all grow from this moment. We're now focused on Austin and making sure we get the most out of each upcoming weekend.”

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Wolff also gave an update on the upgraded floor Mercedes are set to introduce this weekend, as they look to gain some breathing space in the battle for second in the constructors’ championship with Ferrari.

“It's always great to race at the Circuit of The Americas. There's a fantastic atmosphere and the city welcomes F1 with open arms," said Wolff. “COTA is one of the most challenging modern tracks and a real thrill for the drivers.

BUDAPEST, HUNGARY - JULY 22: Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain driving the (44) Mercedes AMG Petronas

Mercedes are in a tight battle for second with Ferrari in the constructors' championship

“We'll be bringing a modified floor, which is the last significant update we will take to the track this year. It will hopefully bring a small gain but more importantly, is another milestone in setting our development path for W15.

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“The battle for second in the constructors' has become more intense in recent races. We will keep our heads down, keep pushing and aim to score as many points as we can to increase our advantage.”

Second-placed Mercedes currently lead Ferrari in the constructors' championship by 28 points with five races and two Sprints left this year.


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