Despite a very difficult start to the season for the Mercedes AMG F1 team, the German squad still has a few moves to make in the title race, notably with George Russell who is their leading driver. Indeed, Toto Wolff would never have had any doubts about the talent of the British driver, team mate of Lewis Hamilton this year, and now appears to be backing the younger man over Hamilton publically.
At the start of the season, Mercedes AMG F1 is facing many difficulties on the track. The German team is still unable to find the right balance for its car with the new regulations that had been introduced in 2022. This is reflected in the results of Lewis Hamilton, who is sixth in the drivers’ standings and has taken himself out of the running for the world championship, appearing instead to prioritise a battle about wearing jewellery with the FIA.
However, his new teammate, George Russell, is undoubtedly Mercedes’ only real ray of hope this season. Indeed, Lewis Hamilton’s compatriot is fourth in the overall standings and can still claim top spots. This is something that Toto Wolff is particularly pleased about, as he reveals that he has never had any doubts about George Russell’s level. Indeed, the Austrian team managers’ rhetoric appears to have switched over to backing Russell, choosing to ignore Hamilton’s FIA squabble.
“We never had any doubts that he would be very good,” confirms Wolff when praising Russell,
“When you look at George’s track record, winning the F3 title in his rookie year and then in F2, we knew he was very good,”
Certainly, Wolff knows that Russell could handle an ill designed F1 car after several years of trying to put his Williams into the points. A feat he achieved in the last year with Williams. No doubt this ‘schooling’ prepared Russell well for the poor W13 Mercedes he has been handed.
“And then obviously the Williams school added its part, so we never had any doubt that he would be very good,” confirms Wolff.
“You can see that materialise on the track,” continues Wolff who is perhaps enjoying the lack of ‘massaging’ and ‘nursing’ he has to publically do with Russell’s rather emotional team mate,
“I really like his approach. He’s very rational, whether he’s fastest in P2 or eleventh, it’s just a matter of him applying the science and trying to make the car faster,” the Mercedes boss said.