Toto Wolff says Lewis Hamilton doesn’t want George Russell’s help

George Russell secured Mercedes' first win of the season last time out in Brazil, while Lewis Hamilton came home in P2.

Most Formula 1 teams operate with a clear number one and number two driver policy; for example Max Verstappen is often partnered with a ‘wingman’ who will often get second pick at race and qualifying strategies.

Mercedes are coming to the end of the first season with a new partnership, with George Russell having replaced Valtteri Bottas at the start of the year as the team plans for the future.

Russell secured the team’s first win of the season as he spearheaded a one-two finish in Sao Paulo, while his teammate Lewis Hamilton heads to Abu Dhabi on the verge of his first winless season in Formula 1.

While it would be obvious for the seven-time world champion to be the number one driver at Mercedes, team principal Toto Wolff has clarified the team’s stance on driver roles.

READ: Toto Wolff opens up on George Russell regret

The Austrian was asked whether Hamilton will be given any priority in Abu Dhabi to give him the best chance of ending his winless streak, to which he explained why he will not be prioritised.

“I think Lewis doesn’t need any prioritisation, and it’s not what he ever would want,” said Wolff.

“I think that he mentioned before that this record of winning a race in every single season, that is less of a priority for him.

“It’s more that we’re getting the car back to where it can be, and we’re racing for me race victories next year, and hopefully a championship.”

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Wolff has said that Hamilton and Russell currently share a respectful relationship, and that Hamilton was over the moon for his young teammate after he secured the first win of his F1 career.

READ: Ex-Red Bull driver reveals why he ‘lost respect’ for Christian Horner

While the Mercedes boss claims that Hamilton would not to be given any special treatment as a typical number one driver, Mercedes have been uncompetitive for the majority of their new era so far, so it remains to be seen how the Brit will react should he end up in a title race with Russell in 2023.

The 37-year-old famously ruined a childhood friendship with Nico Rosberg as he struggled to handle an inter-team title battle with Nico Rosberg, and Wolff himself has warned that Mercedes are braced for a similar scenario with their new pairing.

Russell also seems less content with playing the wingman role, with the Brit only hunting for wins himself as he looks to fulfil his undoubted potential.