George Russell, having joined Mercedes this year, has finished in the top five in every race so far and above team-mate Lewis Hamilton in the last four; Spanish GP live on Sky Sports F1 this weekend – qualifying at 3pm on Saturday, race at 2pm on Sunday.
Toto Wolff says it is no surprise to see George Russell star at Mercedes, as the young Brit bids to continue his streak over Lewis Hamilton at the Spanish GP amid claims he is “coping better” than his team-mate in 2022.
Russell, having joined Mercedes this year, has settled in superbly in silver, finishing in the top five in every race so far despite the team’s lack of pace while he is also comfortably ahead of Hamilton in the drivers’ standings.
The 24-year-old has impressively beaten F1’s seven-time champion in the last four races, too, leading to Sky Sports F1’s Martin Brundle writing in his latest column that Russell was thriving compared to Hamilton.
“It’s a tough time [for Lewis] and eager George, with most of his career still ahead of him, is coping better with the situation than Lewis judging by radio transmissions,” stated Brundle.
Wolff, speaking at the Miami GP, said Russell’s strong start hadn’t surprised him.
“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,” explained the Mercedes team boss.
“And then obviously the Williams school added it’s part, so we were never in any doubt that he would be very good. And you can see that it’s materialising on the track.”
Wolff added: “I like his approach very much. He’s very rational, whether he is fastest in P2, or whether he’s 11th, it’s just about applying the science and trying to make the car faster.
“He’s integrated very well, it’s almost like he’s been here forever.”
Russell hasn’t just been fast, but respectful alongside Hamilton. After replacing Valtteri Bottas, many thought Russell vs Hamilton would be a feisty rivalry – akin to Nico Rosberg’s time at Mercedes – although so far the pair have got on well and battled fairly on-track.
According to Wolff, he “couldn’t wish for any better pairing”.