Toto Wolff reacts to tensions between Lewis Hamilton and George Russell

George Russell outperformed Lewis Hamilton in 2022 but the pair appear to be on more level terms this season despite the challenging performance of the W14.

The inter-team rivalry between Lewis Hamilton and George Russell has become a keen talking point amid speculation about the seven-time world champion’s future in Formula 1.

With negotiations ongoing and his contract set to expire at the end of the season, it’s not currently known whether Hamilton will remain at the team in 2024 or beyond.

What is clear is that the pairing of Hamilton and Russell has the potential to present a dominant duo who, with the right car, can secure a string of trophies for their team.

Mercedes is working on addressing the challenges that the W14 has, with a series of upgrades due to be unveiled at the now cancelled Imola Grand Prix.

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Fans will have to wait until Monaco to find out whether Mercedes has managed to rectify its performance problems, getting the team back on terms with its rivals.

With the two teammates trading performances this year, Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff has dismissed speculation over who is the number one driver at the Silver Arrows.

“I hardly follow it,” the Austrian said. 

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“And if I overhear one or the other comment, I can only smile about it. George is doing a good job, but that’s exactly what we expected from him, that’s why he’s at Mercedes. 

“I don’t notice anything about it on the team. These are background noises played through the press. Lewis and George push each other.”

Mercedes currently finds itself in P3 of the Constructors’ Standings, while, in the Drivers’ Standings, Hamilton is in P4 and Russell is in P6 due to a DNF he suffered earlier in the season.