“I Have to Protect Lewis” – Mercedes’ Toto Wolff Shields ‘Big Star’ Lewis Hamilton From Harsh Red Bull F1 Criticisms

Published 04/30/2022, 3:08 PM EDT
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIa: Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain and Mercedes GP and Mercedes GP Executive Director Toto Wolff on stage for the F1 Live event during previews ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Australia at Melbourne Grand Prix Circuit on March 13, 2019 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)

The start of the 2022 season isn’t something Mercedes anticipated. Calling it bad would be much of an understatement for the eight times back-to-back constructor’s champions. Despite the dismal start, Toto Wolff has got the drivers Lewis Hamilton and George Russell covered.

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Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff has recently opened up about the worst start his team has had in recent years. In the Hybrid era, this has been undoubtedly the most underperforming season for the Silver Arrows. Amid all this, Lewis Hamilton’s performance has further taken everyone by shock.

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The recently concluded Emilia Romagna Grand Prix saw two Mercedes pick up just 12 points as compared to Red Bull’s massive 58-point haul. While George Russell took P4 on Sunday, Hamilton ended his Imola race in P13. Despite such conditions at the Mercedes paddock, Toto expressed his support for the team and driver duo, especially Lewis Hamilton.

The Austrian boss conveyed, “I have to protect Lewis, Imola was not a low moment for him, it was the car. We know that he is a seven-time world champion, last year he went from less to more and fought for the World Championship. He is the best driver in the world and on the one hand, it is irrelevant for them to be eighth or twelfth, but the big stars recover”

How have Lewis Hamilton and George Russell fared so far with Mercedes?

Lewis Hamilton started the year in quest of his eighth world championship. However, that looks like a distant dream now. The seven-time world champion has neither managed to win a race nor get a pole position this season so far. The last time Lewis won a race was back in Saudi Arabia in 2021. These brought in massive criticism on his part from Red Bull Racing’s Helmut Marko.

As compared to Lewis, Russell had a better start of the season. A brilliant performance from him saw the Briton rise to P4 from P11, where he started on the grid.

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Talking about George, Wolff further stated, “I am very surprised with the way in which George has come to the team, he has been very professional and analytical. The driver duo is one of the few things that stands out at this point in our journey. They both work very well and that is very productive and positive for the team”

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WATCH THIS STORY: Lewis Hamilton Shows Off New Tattoo Ahead Of The Upcoming Met Gala

As things stand, Mercedes is currently at P3 in Constructor’s Championship behind Ferrari and Red Bull, with 77 points. Ferrari leads the championship with 124 points followed by Red Bull with 113 points. As for the Drivers, George is in P4 with 48 points, while Lewis is in P7 with 28 points. Charles Leclerc continues to lead the driver’s championship with 86 points.

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Sabyasachi Biswas

359 articles

Sabyasachi Biswas is an F1 writer at EssentiallySports. He has completed his Master's in Mass Communication and Journalism from Jadavpur University, Kolkata. Sabyasachi is an ardent Red Bull and Max Verstappen fan and has been following the sport for over a decade now.

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