Wolff Admits Mercedes Need to Work on Adjusting Russell to Life With Hamilton

Published 09/18/2021, 8:45 AM EDT
Formula One F1 – Belgian Grand Prix – Spa-Francorchamps, Spa, Belgium – August 28, 2021 Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton and Williams’ George Russell celebrate after finishing third and second in qualifying Pool via REUTERS/John Thys


After five successful years, Lewis Hamilton will have a new teammate alongside him at Mercedes. He is none other than fellow Briton George Russell, who has been impressive in three seasons with Williams.

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While they have a massive age gap of 13 years, their ambitions are the same: to win a world title. However, this could leave Mercedes with an enormous job on their hands to prevent another rivalry erupting like Hamilton’s rivalry with Nico Rosberg.

Accepting the possibility of facing such a situation next year, Team Principal Toto Wolff revealed what the team needs to do.

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Toto Wolff admits Mercedes need to adjust George Russell properly

While Hamilton could enter next season as an eight-time world champion, Russell will be in a championship-contending team for the first time in F1. The 23-year-old is no stranger to winning titles, tasting success in F3 and F2 consecutively prior to his F1 debut in 2019.

FILE PHOTO: Formula One F1 – Belgian Grand Prix – Spa-Francorchamps, Stavelot, Belgium – September 1, 2019 Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton and Williams’ George Russell before the race REUTERS/Johanna Geron/File Photo

Knowing Russell’s ability, Wolff admitted calibrating him with Hamilton will be crucial next year. He said“He’s [Russell has] proven that he deserves to have a seat in a top car and now we need to get him properly adjusted into the Mercedes situation. 

“There’s a lot more pressure, he’s having an unbelievable team mate with the biggest records and there it’s important that you condition him and you calibrate him in the right way.”

In addition, Wolff referenced Hamilton’s rivalry with Rosberg to mention the importance of calibration. “We’ve seen situations in the past where they’ve failed,” he said. “Lewis was part of one where I think the team didn’t quite understand how it could potentially go.

“And I think we’re maybe a little bit better prepared for that situation. But nevertheless, he has all the ambition to be a future world champion and so has Lewis, to add another one, so it’s about calibration.”

WATCH STORY: Ugliest Moments in Hamilton-Rosberg Rivalry

All-British lineup first in the Silver Arrows’ history

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The team started with an all-German lineup of Rosberg and Michael Schumacher in 2010. 12 years later, they will have their first all-British lineup with Hamilton and Russell leading their charge.

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Signing Russell signalled Mercedes‘ intentions for the future, as their rivalry with Red Bull grows more intense. While there’s time left for 2022, the Silver Arrows will look to beat their Austrian rivals this year. Is an eighth championship waiting for them at the end of this year? Or will Red Bull bring an abrupt halt to their dominance in the hybrid era?

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Sanket Nair

751 articles

Sanket Nair is an F1 Author at EssentiallySports. A Sports Management graduate, he is a huge fan of Sebastian Vettel and Daniel Ricciardo and hopes to see Red Bull break Mercedes' dominance and win the World Championship soon. Sanket has been hooked to the sport ever since he watched the battle for the 2010 World Championship go down to the wire at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

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