Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff has labelled George Russell's Styrian Grand Prix retirement "a shame" after the Williams driver appeared on course to score his first F1 points for the team.
Russell was promoted to a top-10 grid slot after AlphaTauri driver Yuki Tsunoda was hit by a three-place penalty after qualifying for impeding Valtteri Bottas.
Taking full advantage, the 23-year-old was lapping for much of his first stint in eighth position and was challenging Fernando Alonso for seventh before a power unit issue forced him to retire.
Wolff offered his sympathy to the Mercedes protégé who has been heavily linked with a move to the Silver Arrows for 2022.
“I saw that George was running right in the top-10 pack - and fast - so when I saw the car breaking down it was just such a shame for Williams and for himself," said Wolff
“But nobody doubts his speed and his quality as a driver. It is a shame for Williams not taking home a serious amount of points which would have made a big difference in the championship.”
F1 teams offer competitor comfort
Adding to the comments of Wolff, rival teams were also quick to praise Russell's efforts after he tweeted: "This one hurt.
"Every single member of the team should hold their head high today. We were up there on merit. Racing can be brutal but we keep fighting."