Wolff likens Hamilton to a “wizard” and Russell to a “sorcerer’s apprentice”

© Steve Etherington for Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Ltd.

Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff compared Lewis Hamilton and George Russell’s team dynamic to that of  a “wizard” and a “sorcerer’s apprentice”.

George Russell will join Mercedes in 2022 to team with Lewis Hamilton, but many are questioning if this could lead to another intra-team war, similar to the one between Hamilton and Nico Rosberg from 2014 until 2016.

Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff thinks this can be avoided.

“I think we as a team can manage it much better now than maybe back then, when we slid into the unknown,” the Austrian told Motorsport-total.com.

“The dynamic between George and Lewis will be completely different. You’ve got the wizard and the sorcerer’s apprentice and I think they are both aware of that division of roles.”

Wolff admits that he did not manage the situation between Hamilton and Rosberg properly.

“I have to put that on myself. But I was quite virginal in the role then. It’s different today. I didn’t know the past of the two drivers and maybe with the team then I didn’t react robustly enough to avoid these things.

“But Nico was also in a completely different situation to George. Nico was in the middle of his career, had been with Mercedes for six years in 2016, came earlier [to Mercedes] than Lewis. That’s why the dynamic was different.

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“With Lewis, we have a driver who has now been at Mercedes for eight years, has a great career and is still in the middle of setting more records.

“And on the other hand, we have a young, up-and-coming talent who keeps putting in extraordinary performances like at Sochi and Spa in the rain.”

Nevertheless, Toto believes Russell is capable of challenging for the world title in his first year with the team.

“That could also happen in the first year and would be a luxury problem that we would then have to solve.”

In a recent interview Russell also said he feels ready to fight at the top of the field.

“I feel ready to fight for World Championships and win races,” the Briton said.

“I would have loved to come into Formula 1 and be fighting for victories from my very first race. Perhaps I’ll look back in 10 or 15 years and say this experience at the back end of the field has paid dividends for me in the long run.

“Next year I’ll be giving it everything I’ve got,” concluded Russell.

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