And suddenly Toto shouts at me!

The unexpected often happens! At least that was the case for George Russell in Austria. Mercedes and Russell secured third place throughout the entire Formula 1 race before Lando Norris and Max Verstappen robbed each other of any chance of victory in turn three. Russell, 15 seconds behind, saw this on the big screens at the track, overtook Norris and Verstappen, and won in Austria.

Wolff yells at Russell on the radio, Russell yells back

George Russell has waited 595 days, 85 weeks or almost 20 months for the second victory of his Formula 1 career. The first one dates back to November 13, 2022, or the Brazilian Grand Prix that took place there. But his victory was much more predictable then than it was until the final laps of the 2024 Austrian Grand Prix.

“I was just holding on to third place and then saw the fight on the screens. I was waiting for an opportunity like that, you always hope for it,” said George Russell, describing his race up until the crash.

And on lap 64, that opportunity came. “Suddenly, Toto shouts at me: You can win this!” said Russell. But in the middle of braking, he was hardly interested. “Let me drive, damn it!”

Wolff excited on the radio: This is the first time this has happened to me in 12 years of F1

Team boss Wolff, however, finds the scene embarrassing in retrospect. “That was one of the stupidest things I’ve ever done. It happened to me for the first time in 12 years. He was fully on the brakes and I told him that they had collided,” said Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff on Sky Deutschland.

Instead of Max Verstappen and Lando Norris, George Russell actually concentrated on Carlos Sainz and Oscar Piastri. The Australian in particular had the slightly fresher tires towards the end of the race, including medium tires, while Russell drove on hard tires.

Following the collision between the front-runners, the race management deployed a virtual safety car. “The virtual safety car came in very handy for me, I was able to cool down my tires again and then drive at a similar pace to Oscar,” said Russell.

George Russell celebrates Mercedes team: We got the maximum out of it

In the last six laps up to the finish line, Russell kept the gap to Piastri fairly constant and unexpectedly took the second win of his career. For Russell, however, the win had less to do with luck and more to do with the team’s performance.

Mercedes team celebrates George Russell’s victory in the Parc Ferme
George Russell celebrates with his team after the race, Photo: LAT Images

“In the last three races we have really turned it up as a team. In Canada we deserved to win and came third, here we deserved P3 and came first. It’s funny,” said Russell.

In his eyes, however, Mercedes is still a long way from reaching its goal. “I think realistically we only have the third fastest car. But we are really making the most of it,” says Russell, who is looking forward to his home race in Silverstone next weekend. “You can always dream, anything can happen.”

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