Formula 1 managing director, motorsports, Ross Brawn has clarified his comments towards George Russell after suggesting the opinions of drivers at the back are 'not what we are really listening to'.
Following Saturday's sprint race at Imola, Russell spoke out about the processional nature of the race after drivers in the midfield became stuck in a lengthy DRS train that limited overtaking.
After Mercedes endured a tough qualifying session, Russell had started and finished the 100km race 11th.
Having heard the Briton's comments, Brawn dismissed the criticism of the format, saying: "I think George's opinion, or the opinion of anyone at the back of the grid, are not the opinions we are really listening to."
Explaining at the time that drivers often complain after a race has not worked out in their favour, Brawn sought to further clarify his reaction after Russell's impressive recovery to fourth in the grand prix itself.
"I just know from my own experience that psychologically, a driver at the back of the grid has got all sorts of other things going on," said Brawn.
"It would be great if there were things going on at the back but we had a Mercedes that couldn't overtake the cars in front, but there was plenty of overtaking going on in the middle and up the front.
"Of course, we will listen. We won't ignore it but we have to keep a perspective."