Toto Wolff makes Lewis Hamilton and George Russell claim

2022 was the first year of the exciting partnership of Lewis Hamilton and George Russell at Mercedes.

After spending five seasons working with the ever-loyal wingman Valtteri Bottas, Lewis Hamilton was forced to adapt to working with a new teammate in 2022.

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff believed that from what he had seen of George Russell’s performances with Williams, he was finally ready to make the step up to Mercedes.

In his first season with the Silver Arrows, Russell was phenomenally impressive, being an almost ever-present in the top five in a fairly uncompetitive W13.

The 24-year-old finished in fourth place in the drivers’ championship, two places ahead of his legendary teammate Lewis Hamilton who was struggling significantly more with the W13.

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It was also Russell who secured Mercedes’ only win of the season, dominating the race weekend in Brazil by winning the sprint race and the Grand Prix.

Despite the statistics pointing at George Russell dominance, Toto Wolff has suggested that the two Mercedes drivers were fairly equal in 2022, with the main aim being to develop the car to a competitive level by the end of the season.

“Lewis is the best driver of all time along with Michael Schumacher in his Ferrari days,” said Wolff via PlanetF1.

“I would see Lewis and George on a par in 2022.

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“George got out of a car that was certainly difficult to drive [at Williams]. He got into one that was certainly difficult to drive as well. Lewis went from a perfect car to the W13. So he had to adapt a lot. We had races where George was stronger and races where Lewis was stronger.

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“But it wasn’t about who scored more points and beat the other. It was about developing a car together that was capable of winning. Both have great respect for each other. And both recognise the other’s performance. That’s a good constellation.”

Mercedes have been warned that there could potentially be a repeat of Hamilton’s fall out with Nico Rosberg this season, as the Brit famously struggles to get on well with teammates who challenge him for the title.

With only a few years left in his racing career, the 38-year-old will be desperate to win a record breaking eighth world championship before handing the reins over to Russell, who will be equally desperate to win his first.