Toto Wolff dismisses tensions between Lewis Hamilton and George Russell

Toto Wolff has claimed that his Mercedes driver pairing is working well amidst a disappointing season for the Silver Arrows.

Despite being a master behind the wheel, arguably the best of all time, Lewis Hamilton has had his critics about his ability to work with a teammate.

His relationship with ex-teammate Valtteri Bottas was successful, however, the Finn was never one to kick up a fuss and by all accounts was happy to be a wingman for the seven-time world champion.

The problems arise when Hamilton’s teammates are also contending for the title, with his relationship with Nico Rosberg boiling over to the point that the former friends could not look each other in the eye.

The pair famously collided in Spain, with Hamilton taking both drivers out the race, and he also refused team orders in Abu Dhabi, backing Rosberg into the pack as the German was fighting for his maiden title.

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Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff has dismissed any speculation that the Brit’s relationship with newcomer George Russell is anything like this, branding it as one of respect.

“I would describe the relationship as with respect,” he said.

“The respect of the rookie in the knowledge that his teammate is the greatest driver of all time – with Michael [Schumacher] – and the respect of Lewis who sees himself [in Russell].”

The pair nearly collided at the Dutch Grand Prix but Wolff puts this down to a lack of experience being close on track, rather than any toxicity.

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“After Zandvoort, my feeling as that is was a bit too close, it could have gone wrong but they are the experts,” he added.

“They need to find the relationship on the track also, because they haven’t had close racing between themselves.

“Both of them still have the ambition to beat their teammate and win races and championships, and I think that dynamic works very well together.”

Wolff also backs both drivers to win titles, with it not quite time for Hamilton to hand the reigns over to Russell for a title charge.

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“He [Russell] will win races, he will race for championships. He absolutely has it in him.

“But maybe there’s another Lewis championship in between?”

With Hamilton sat on seven titles, joint with Michael Schumacher, the Stevenage hero will be desperate to win his record breaking eighth before taking any sort of a back seat.