In 2022, Lewis Hamilton and George Russell were faced with a troubled car, which was unable to challenge for the championship, or race wins.
The first part of the season was especially difficult as the drivers’ main goal was to gather as much information as possible about the car.
Numerous members of the team said that, as a senior driver, Lewis was the one who sacrificed his performance the most to be able to gather the data that Mercedes’ engineers needed. In that time, George managed to finish ahead of Lewis most of the time.
In the second half of the season, Lewis mostly produced better results than George, but ultimately George still managed to finish the season ahead.
When asked for a comment, Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff said this fact was irrelevant.
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“The fact that George beat Lewis does not matter,” the Austrian said.
“It is much more important that they did not race for the title and that they did not race for wins, apart from Brazil.
“I don’t think it is important for anyone in the team to finish second, third, fourth or fifth.”
As for being able to fight for the title in 2023, Wolff said.
“I’m not sure at all whether we can bounce back to a position where we can compete for the championship next year.
“You need to acknowledge that the competition is strong but we will do everything in our power to set our objectives high and try to reach them,” he concluded.