Mercedes have endured a tough season so far as they struggled to get their ground-effect W13 right. The early troubles with porpoising and lack of performance made sure the 2022 title would be a long shot for the eight-time-straight constructors’ championship. George Russell was in the middle of his first stint with the German outfit, while Lewis Hamilton was coming off his potential eighth championship loss. 

Thus, amid all the tensions early in the season, the two drivers, Russell and Hamilton, seemed to bond. The team and the drivers worked together to fix their car and faced disappointment during the first 7-8 races of the season. However, Mercedes’ persistence and their will to improve have helped them get over porpoising and come back in the fight for podiums. After his first podium in Bahrain, Hamilton had a tough phase where he had to fight for points. 

Lewis Hamilton & Russell Mercedes
Hamilton & Russell

On the other hand, George Russell has been the most consistent driver this season, finishing in the top five in each race except in Silverstone. However, both the drivers have been bringing home maximum points for Mercedes as they still lack the race-winning. Hamilton and Russell secured a back-to-back double podium in France and Budapest. Moreover, the 24-year-old is leading Lewis (146 points) in the constructor’s standings by 12 points. Russell has 158 championship points and is two places ahead of his British teammate. Thus, as Mercedes got closer to Red Bull and Mercedes’ performance, tensions started to build between Lewis and George.

Wolff Impressed By Russell & Hamilton’s Dedication To Mercedes

As the season progresses, fans can expect some critical fights for places between the Mercedes teammates after sharing the pain of handling a troubled W13 together. Recently, Principal Toto Wolff revealed that he is aware of the raising tensions between Russell and Hamilton. The Mercedes team principal reckoned that it is quite natural at the highest level, where a lot is at stake.

However, Wolff thought it is not something to lose sleep over. He feels that both the drivers bond over the challenges they have faced in driving the W13. The biggest opposition for George and Lewis had been the car, not rival drivers or teammates. The 50-year-old added, “And that was certainly advantageous in some respects.”

Toto Wolff Mercedes

The Mercedes boss is impressed by the efforts the team and their two drivers have shown to fix the W13 that was deemed undrivable by many this season. Russell & Hamilton used different solutions and setups many times to exchange impressions and gather useful data in hopes of finding a way out of their miseries. The former Austrian driver concluded, “When the objectives become races and championships, I will be able to tell you whether the respect I see today between the two will prove to be a predominant factor.”