George Russell joined Williams in 2019 as a Mercedes junior and was allowed to switch to the German brand after three seasons at the expense of Valtteri Bottas. The young Briton made his debut with Mercedes at the Sakhir Grand Prix back in 2020. There he replaced Lewis Hamilton, who was infected with Corona at the time. “It’s very well integrated. It feels as if he’s been there forever,” Wolff says happily about his driver pair. “I’m happy how they treat each other and how respectful they are.”
In Miami, the Mercedes duo fought for the first time this F1 season. Russell attempted to pass Hamilton on new tires but eventually went off the track on four wheels and had to cede position to his teammate. In the end, Russell got over it and Mercedes finished fifth and sixth. “Even in a heated fight, they still return positions. I think teammates should compete this way. I’m glad how he settled in with us.”
Mercedes is currently not getting everything out of the W13. The racing stable is plagued by porpoises. Of the two drivers, Russell is the one best able to handle the bumpy car. This is also the reason why the Mercedes newcomer has a 23-point lead over seven-time world champion Hamilton. Wolff recently announced that he was impressed by Russell’s analytical approach. The Austrian is confident Russell and Hamilton can improve on their current performance.
“George won the F3 and F2 titles in his debut year,” continued Wolff. “We know he’s very good. Training with Williams also contributed to this. We never doubted him, he shows that on the track. I like his approach condition. It’s all about applying the science and trying to make the car faster. I enjoy their collaboration, the level is high. That put us in a great place in the Constructors’ Championship for the time being. I can’t wish the duo any better than that.”