2018 Chinese Grand Prix, Sunday - Paul Ripke

George Russell has been sent a warning by Toto Wolff, saying that no matter how talented he is, he has to respect team boundaries.

Russell will replace Valtteri Bottas at the end of the season, and will join seven-time champion Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes. He will be joining a team that has been tasting success for a long time, and will be looking to help them win further.

Mercedes have had one of the most infamous teammate bust-ups in recent memory. As such, Russell was sent a warning by Wolff, saying that no driver is above the team.

Speaking to the Daily Mail, the Austrian said, “This is Mercedes. We have no place for the genius jerk. Even a superstar driver has to respect team values.

“I wouldn’t hesitate in the future if a driver talked bad about the team or wasn’t appropriate, I would first deal with it internally and if that didn’t yield results I would take the driver out of the car. On the bench, yes.

“And George Russell is another intelligent young man. He will slot into the team, but that doesn’t mean he has to hold back when driving. You can’t expect a lion in the car and a puppy out of it.

Lewis Hamilton and George Russell
Russell (left) will partner Hamilton (right) next season. Source: Getty Images

“But there are certain boundaries within the team that must be respected and George knows them very well. Once the lights are green, only the drivers are responsible.”

Never again

Wolff also talked about the infamous rivalry between Hamilton and Nico Rosberg that threatened to destroy the team from within.

“I can’t interfere, manage, or remote control them, but one thing is of ultimate importance — don’t touch. That’s your responsibility. You can race hard, but no contact.

“I’ve been there before with Nico when it wasn’t just a rivalry. There was a lot of animosity and that’s not going to happen.

“This is about showing respect for each other and it can be hard because if you race on the same spot on the race track you will eventually come across each other — but there is an integrity we expect that no one is ever bigger than the team,” he concluded.

Read more: Alonso credits Verstappen and Russell for keeping his interest in F1 alive

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