Wolff Opens Up on How Mercedes Will ‘Condition’ Russell to Prevent a Hamilton-Rosberg Repeat

Published 09/19/2021, 4:24 AM EDT
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


George Russell will join the Mercedes AMG team to partner Lewis Hamilton in the 2022 season. The former’s predecessor, Valtteri Bottas, always worked as a team player with the Silver Arrows and even played second fiddle to Hamilton on most occasions. With Russell, however, many expect a Mercedes teammate battle in the future, similar to the one Lewis had with Bottas’ predecessor, Nico Rosberg.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Fortunately, Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff has plans to ensure that the Russell-Hamilton pairing does not have the same animosity as Rosberg-Hamilton.

WATCH STORY: Toto Wolff Swears, Valtteri Bottas Bares: Funniest Moments From Drive to Survive

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

We’ve seen situations in the past where they’ve failed: Toto Wolff

As reported by Formula1, the Austrian stated it is important for the team to condition Russell well. He also believes that they are better prepared than before if the situation between the drivers goes wrong.

“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 teammate with the biggest records and there it’s important that you condition him and you calibrate him in the right way,” said Wolff.

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

“We’ve seen situations in the past where they’ve failed; Lewis was part of one where I think the team didn’t quite understand how it could potentially go.

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

DIVE DEEPER

Toto Wolff: How Did a Candle Seller Go on to Run the Mercedes F1 Team?

over 1 year ago

The Mercedes team boss explains what they want from George Russell

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Toto Wolff clarified they would not pick someone who did not have any ambition. It is a known fact in the F1 paddock that Russell is a future world champion in waiting, so Wolff has made it clear to Russell what they want from him next season.

Formula One F1 – Belgian Grand Prix – Spa-Francorchamps, Spa, Belgium – August 28, 2021, Mercedes Team Principal Toto Wolff after qualifying Pool via REUTERS/John Thys

 “We are not going to put a driver in the car who will not have the ambition to do as well as possible to kick his teammate as hard as he can, win races and championships early too, and that’s clear.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

“So I can put myself into his perspective, so I’m trying to discuss with him what that means for the team dynamic, what it could mean, how we need to keep the momentum in the team. And he’s very intelligent, he gets that,” concluded Toto.

Russell had previously stated that he is joining Mercedes on equal grounds with Lewis. So, it would be interesting to see who the team will side with in tense situations.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE :

ADVERTISEMENT

Devang Chauhan

461 articles

Devang Chauhan is an F1 author at EssentiallySports. Having completed his graduation in Journalism and Mass Communication, he has a keen eye for writing engaging and detailed articles on F1. Previously a writer for Sports Social's 'Chase Your Sport' Magazine, Devang has been an ardent follower of the sport for over a decade and has attended two editions of the Indian Grand Prix.

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT