Wolff rubs salt into Bottas’ wounds in an interview about Mercedes’ 2022 Hamilton-Russell partnership

Lewis Hamilton is set to feature with a new teammate this year at Mercedes. Youngster George Russell has been recruited by the Silver Arrows to replace Valtteri Bottas, who will feature for Alfa Romeo this season.

If constant sly digs during his time at Mercedes were not enough, Bottas failed to catch any respite even after switching to a new team, with Toto Wolff failing to resist taking a shrewd shot at the Finnish driver.

Hamilton and Bottas were teammates at Mercedes for five seasons before Mercedes finally decided to find a new racer alongside Hamilton.

After four successive titles for Hamilton, he was denied at the final hurdle in his bid to win five in a row and world record eighth championship.

Valtteri Bottas. Credit: planetf1.com

Many at Mercedes believe Russell could very well prove to be just what Hamilton needs at Mercedes, with the young British driver full of potential and eager to make his own mark on the sport.

Wolff made a statement regarding the recruitment of Russell, saying that this year the team is in an interesting and different situation. He went on to even

“This year we are in an interesting situation with George, a star, it’s different. He has undoubtedly the best driver ever in the other seat,” Wolff said.

“The dynamics are new and that’s something we want to steer in such a way that it’s going to have the most positive effect on the development of the car.

“It’s fundamentally different from what we’re used to. Only when we race against each other will we see if it gets easier or not.”

Russell’s a Mercedes man through and through

Russell had previously joined the Mercedes junior programme as a teenager and showed great promise en route to winning the F2 title the following year in 2018.

He was then recruited as a reserve driver by Mercedes and was brought in as a main driver by Williams the following season.

His three seasons at Williams are believed to have put him in good stead to make the most of the opportunity that he has got at the Silver Arrows.

George Russell and Valtteri Bottas. Credit: racefans.net

Wolff explained just how highly he rates Russell.

“He has been a winner in every racing category – and the past three seasons with Williams have given us a taste of what the future could hold for him in F1,” Wolff said last year.

“Now it is our challenge together to help him continue learning within our environment and alongside Lewis, the greatest F1 driver of all time.”

But perhaps what would sting Bottas the most is the fact that Wolff already seems to have given Russell the security blanket of saying that it is a partnership the team will look to back for years to come.

“I am confident that as their relationship grows, they will form a strong team and collectively deliver for Mercedes on and off the track in the years ahead.

Read more: Russell hopes to see ‘huge improvements’ in Mercedes’ W13 after making first inspection of new challenger

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