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How Mercedes plan to 'steer' Hamilton/Russell dynamic

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff has explained how his team will attempt to control the dynamic of their new driver pairing.

Toto Wolff has explained how Mercedes intend to attempt to "steer" the direction of their new team dynamic, having hired another driver for the first time since the end of the 2016 season. While Lewis Hamilton and long-time teammate Valtteri Bottas established an equilibrium whereby Hamilton was the clear team leader, the arrival of hotshot youngster George Russell means Mercedes have to learn how to best manage what could turn into quite a competitive battle between the pair. Wolff plans to tackle the situation with an open mind, starting with both drivers being given equal equipment. "We never had a situation of one and two; they [Hamilton and Bottas] had equal opportunities and the same car," Wolff told media, including RacingNews365.com , when asked whether a number one and two driver policy will be in place in 2022.

Mercedes chasing a "positive development effect"

Wolff outlined all the team are hoping to achieve is a state of harmony that lends itself to the best possible development path for their brand new W13 machine. "This year, the interesting situation is that we have, with George, an up-and-coming star and, undoubtedly, the best Formula 1 driver ever in the other seat," he said. "So that dynamic is new and clearly is something that we will be trying to steer in a direction that it has the most positive effect on developing the car and making us, overall, competitive." But Wolff hinted Russell may find it difficult to contend with Hamilton in his maiden season at Mercedes, as he commented on Hamilton's performances at the tail end of the 2021 season when locked in a title battle with Red Bull's Max Verstappen. "I think that adversity has always made him stronger, more resilient, and determined," he added. "This is the attitude I feel in him right now and, also, the mindset that I see in the team."

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