KEY POINTS

  • George Russell joined Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes this season
  • Both drivers have managed just one podium position in 2022
  • Russell is 4th in the drivers' title race

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff has expressed his delight regarding pairing Lewis Hamilton with young George Russell in the ongoing F1 season. 

At the end of the 2021 campaign, Mercedes let go of Valtteri Bottas and instead signed Russell on a long-term deal. The former Williams driver, Russell, has started off his Mercedes stint on a positive note as he is the only racer to have finished in the top five of each race this season despite a lack of overall pace from the W13.

Russell, who was a part of Mercedes’ junior program, was promoted to Silver Arrows, after tasting success over the years, including winning the F3 and F2 championships.

"When you look at George's track record in winning the title in F3, in his rookie year, and then an F2, we knew that he was very good. Then obviously the Williams school added its part, so we were never in any doubt that he would be very good. And you can see that it's materializing on the track. I like his approach very much. He's very rational, whether he is fastest in P2, or whether he's eleventh, it’s just about applying the science and trying to make the car faster," Wolff was quoted by GP Fans, as saying in a recent interview.

With 59 points after five races, Russell is fifth in the F1 2022 drivers’ standings and has 23 points more than his decorated teammate Hamilton. Mercedes are third in the Constructors' Championship with 95 points, with Ferrari and Red Bull way ahead of the defending champions.

Even though Mercedes have struggled due to their W13 issue this season, Woff is impressed by the unity shown by Hamilton and Russell. 

"I enjoy seeing them working together, the level is high from both of them. That has put us in a decent situation in the constructors’ championship, so I couldn't wish for any better pairing," added Wolff in the same interview.

Meanwhile, Russell has branded Mercedes’ W13 a "killer to drive."

"Toto (Wolff, team principal) is throwing the word ‘diva’ around a lot, but I think that’s a bit of an understatement because it’s so unpredictable. When the thing just starts bouncing in the corners, it’s a killer to drive," Russell was quoted by Planet F1, as saying in an interview.

British driver George Russell is joining F1 team Mercedes in 2022 British driver George Russell is joining F1 team Mercedes in 2022 Photo: AFP / Kenzo TRIBOUILLARD

After making his F1 debut with Williams in 2019, Russell has claimed two podium finishes so far, including one this year. Russell finished third at the Australian Grand Prix last month, where Ferrari’s Charles Leclrec clinched a super victory, with Red Bull’s Sergio Perez at P2. 

Hamilton, who has won the driver’s title seven times, equaling legendary Michael Schumacher, has managed just one podium finish this year, which came at the season-opener Bahrain Grand Prix in March.