Toto Wolff praises ‘clever’ Lewis Hamilton and George Russell, comments on Mercedes’ reliability

Sir Lewis Hamilton and George Russell finished second and third, respectively, at last weekend's French Grand Prix.

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff believes that the mentality of his team is what will help them get through their rough patch.

The Silver Arrows have been struggling to find performance under the new technical regulations so far this season, and neither Sir Lewis Hamilton nor George Russell have managed a win yet.

They did, however, get their first double podium of the season to take their tally up to nine for the year last weekend in France, and it was a result of persistence through a multitude of difficulties over the last few months.

This team spirit and a refusal to ever give up is something that Wolff appreciates most about his squad.

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“I think the biggest asset is the culture we have in the team,” he said.

“The immune system of the team, it keeps us working with the right mindset and spirit when it is difficult and our drivers are a part of our culture and a part of our mindset.

“The drivers make very rarely make mistakes, they squeeze the most out of the car and they are clever – we have seen that – and they just never let go.”

A lot of the relative success the eight-time champions have achieved this year has stemmed from reliability failures and crashes on the part of Red Bull and Ferrari.

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Last weekend in France, Carlos Sainz was forced to start at the back after taking an engine penalty following his second reliability failure of the seaon in Austria, and the Spaniard recovered to fifth.

His team-mate Charles Leclerc crashed out of the lead of the race before Russell passed Sergio Perez to secure 33 points for Mercedes.

Without tempting fate, Wolff sees reliability as a strong suit for his side, but would like to start achieving those results on pure pace.

“Reliability has been a highlight so far of this team – I hope I am not pre-empting a [failure],” he added.

“Reliability is strong and we are delivering solid work, we just need to understand how to unlock more performance in qualifying and in the opening stages of the race.”