Formula 1

Mercedes chief Toto Wolff insists it is ‘irrelevant’ that Hamilton finished behind team-mate Russell

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff insists it is ‘irrelevant’ that Lewis Hamilton finished behind team-mate George Russell after his worst ever season in F1… as he claims the team will bounce back next year

  • Hamilton suffered yet another ill-fated race in concluding round in Abu Dhabi
  • He finished 35 points behind team-mate George Russell in the standings
  • It was the first time Hamilton had failed to register at least one win in a season 

Toto Wolff has defended Lewis Hamilton’s ‘defeat’ by his team-mate George Russell, dismissing it as irrelevant.

The Mercedes team principal delivered his verdict after Hamilton suffered yet another ill-fated race in the concluding round in Abu Dhabi on Sunday, when his gearbox failed three laps from the finish.

The retirement left him 35 points behind Russell and sixth in the standings to his junior partner’s fourth, with Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz separating them in fifth. 

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff has defended Lewis Hamilton after his worst F1 season

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff has defended Lewis Hamilton after his worst F1 season

But when asked about the discrepancy Wolff said: ‘Irrelevant. They are not racing for a world championship. They haven’t raced for victories apart from Brazil (where Russell won).’

This was the first time Hamilton has completed a season without at least one win to his name since making his debut in 2007. 

Despite a poor season, Wolff said he does not feel as empty now as he did 12 months ago. 

Sixth placed Hamilton finished 35 points behind team-mate George Russell, who came fourth

Sixth placed Hamilton finished 35 points behind team-mate George Russell, who came fourth

‘Last year was much worse,’ said the Austrian. ‘Last year it was taken away from us. This year we lost it on merit. We just weren’t good enough.

‘But that particular record about race wins doesn’t matter a lot.

‘It is more about helping to set the stage for next season. We have the right pillars in place.’


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