Wolff: Hamilton, Russell in same team could be "wild ride"

Toto Wolff believes making Lewis Hamilton and George Russell Formula 1 teammates could offer Mercedes a “wild ride” in the future following the latter’s display in Bahrain on Sunday.

Wolff: Hamilton, Russell in same team could be "wild ride"
Listen to this article

Russell was drafted in to parent team Mercedes for the Sakhir Grand Prix after Hamilton tested positive for COVID-19, stepping up from his regular seat at Williams.

Russell qualified second and dominated the majority of the race in Bahrain, leading a grand prix for the first time in his career, and looked on course for victory before a pit stop mix-up caused by a radio failure.

Russell fought back from fifth place under the safety car to sit second entering the closing stages before a late puncture dropped him back to ninth in the final classification.

Mercedes team principal Wolff insisted earlier in the weekend that he was not treating the race as a shootout between Russell and Bottas to be Hamilton’s teammate from 2022.

But the 22-year-old’s performance won widespread praise throughout the F1 community, only adding to the growing calls for him to one day move into a senior Mercedes seat.

Asked if there was any way Russell could land himself a Mercedes seat for next season, Wolff dismissed the idea, but pondered what a future partnership with Hamilton may look like.

"He's a Williams driver, he signed up to Williams and our driver line-up is Valtteri and Lewis,” Wolff said.

“So I don't see this as a realistic situation at that moment of time.

“But I can understand that it would be an interesting situation to have been both in the team and maybe a bit of a wild ride for all of us. Maybe that will happen in the future.”

Read Also:

Wolff said that Russell’s display would give Williams greater reference of his performances for the team, but that he remained unsure what the future would hold beyond the end of the existing deal between the two parties in 2021.

“George has always been a Mercedes driver, and he’s a Williams driver now, and I think they can be proud of what he’s done today,” Wolff said.

“They will know that his lap times in a Williams are probably the benchmark.

“Now we need to see what the future holds. To be honest, I haven’t made up my mind what that means for us.”

As disappointed as Wolff felt after missing out on victory with Russell, he stressed it should not be regarded as a sad day, but instead one where the potential of his young driver was confirmed.

“This is not a sad day,” Wolff said.

“This is a day where we learn as a team, when we are in a tough fight about a championship, I wouldn’t want the radio to fail.

“And we learned that George Russell is somebody to count on in the future. He has all the potential and all the ingredients that a star needs, a future star needs.

“In that respect, I’m sad for the result that he could have had in his first race for Mercedes, but on the other side, I’m happy about his performance.”

shares
comments

Related video

Aitken "gutted" over Russell missing out on win
Previous article

Aitken "gutted" over Russell missing out on win

Next article

Ten things we learned from the Sakhir GP

Ten things we learned from the Sakhir GP
Load comments
Why 2022 could be Leclerc's best chance to end his Monaco F1 curse Prime

Why 2022 could be Leclerc's best chance to end his Monaco F1 curse

Charles Leclerc's ill-fortune at his home Formula 1 race is well-established. But his single lap pace and over longer runs during Friday practice will leave the Ferrari driver upbeat that he can make up for his Barcelona disappointment by finally recording a finish and perhaps even banking 25 world championship points in Sunday's Monaco Grand Prix...

The inevitable consequence of the Liberty F1 popularity boom Prime

The inevitable consequence of the Liberty F1 popularity boom

Sell out crowds at Formula 1 races are the norm rather than the exception these days, as grand prix racing is enjoying a massive boom under Liberty Media. But the Spanish Grand Prix highlighted numerous issues some circuits may face as demand for F1 soars

Formula 1
May 26, 2022
The danger for Red Bull in its Barcelona F1 team orders choice Prime

The danger for Red Bull in its Barcelona F1 team orders choice

OPINION: Red Bull walked into a team orders saga on its way to taking a Spanish Grand Prix 1-2 last weekend, where it took the lead of the 2022 Formula 1 world championships for the first time. But its decisions have added an element of risk to later races.

Formula 1
May 25, 2022
Why Mercedes' Spanish GP gains aren't as grand as they seemed Prime

Why Mercedes' Spanish GP gains aren't as grand as they seemed

Mercedes' strong showing in last weekend's Spanish Grand Prix prompted team boss Toto Wolff to say it had halved its deficit to the leaders and its Formula 1 title chances were back on after a rocky start to the 2022 campaign. But a closer inspection of the team's performance suggests its gains aren't as grand as they first appeared

Formula 1
May 24, 2022
What's next for the Green Red Bull controversy? Prime

What's next for the Green Red Bull controversy?

From the 'pink Mercedes' to the 'Green Red Bull', the Silverstone-based team has received suspicious glares from up and down the Formula 1 paddock over its car design exploits. But after being cleared by the FIA over its Spanish Grand Prix updates amid a backdrop of cries of foul play, what's next in this saga?

Formula 1
May 24, 2022
Spanish Grand Prix Driver Ratings 2022 Prime

Spanish Grand Prix Driver Ratings 2022

In an unusually hectic Formula 1 Spanish Grand Prix, Charles Leclerc was denied a dominant performance by his Ferrari engine letting go which allowed Max Verstappen to pick up the pieces. But numerous flashpoints kept the race twisting and turning throughout, with one perfect score from an emerging contender

Formula 1
May 23, 2022
How Verstappen overcame his and Red Bull’s errors to win in Spain Prime

How Verstappen overcame his and Red Bull’s errors to win in Spain

Charles Leclerc’s Ferrari engine disaster offered an open goal for Max Verstappen and Red Bull to strike, but the reigning Formula 1 world champion still had to solve multiple errors and profit from a begrudged assist from team-mate Sergio Perez, which created an unexpectedly eventful Spanish Grand Prix

Formula 1
May 23, 2022
Why Red Bull can win a Spanish GP that looked perfect for Ferrari Prime

Why Red Bull can win a Spanish GP that looked perfect for Ferrari

Formula 1's return to Spain on Friday ended with Ferrari leading the way from Mercedes, while Red Bull could only manage third fastest overall courtesy of Max Verstappen. But its chances of victory are far from remote with a deeper dig into the times despite Ferrari's strong start...

Formula 1
May 20, 2022