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Wolff expects Hamilton to fight back: 'Adversity has always made him strong

Wolff expects Hamilton to fight back: 'Adversity has always made him strong

18 February - 17:06 Last update: 23:08


Mercedes will start with a new lineup in 2022 after five years. Valtteri Bottas has been traded in for George Russell and according to team boss Toto Wolff, this is going to make for a totally new situation. Especially now that Hamilton also has a stronger mindset than ever.

Wolff expects much more from Russell

Although to F1 fans it often seemed as if there was a clear division of roles within the team between Lewis Hamilton and Bottas, with Hamilton being the number one and Bottas the number two, Wolff says on the contrary there was never a number one and two. With the arrival of Russell, that may be different in 2022. Indeed, speaking to GPBlog.com, the Austrian says, "We have never had a situation of a number one and number two."

Wolff emphasises that the drivers are given the same opportunities and have exactly the same car. "This year we are in the interesting situation with George, a rising star and undoubtedly the best driver ever in the other seat." Much is expected of the fast and ambitious Russell. Mercedes will have the two drivers racing against each other, but in the event of a battle for the title with another team, a division of roles may become necessary.

Wolff is hoping for the best: "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." In any case, Wolff thinks Russell will be a lot stronger than Bottas: "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."

Mindset Hamilton better than ever

Hamilton will simply be back in 2022 and will be back to fight for his eighth world title after a disastrous defeat in 2021. Wolff thinks Hamilton has what it takes to beat Max Verstappen and looks back at the end of last season: "The disqualification in Brazil created the situation for him where the determination on doing the talking on the track was enormous. From then on there was no looking back. Lewis destroyed the competition in every race going forward." 

Wolff additionally appoints that Hamilton was also the stronger party on Sunday in Abu Dhabi. Without paying more attention to that last race of the season, the team boss switches to the outlook for this season: "I think adversity has always made him stronger and more determined. this is the attitude I feel in him now and the mindset I see in the team."

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