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Toto Wolff

Wolff defends Hamilton as Russell pulls further ahead

Toto Wolff believes that Lewis Hamilton's bad luck will eventually end, as the seven-time World Champion lost further ground to George Russell in the Drivers' Championship after the Monaco Grand Prix.

Hamilton Verstappen Monaco
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Toto Wolff says he has no worries about Lewis Hamilton's form, as the seven-time World Champion was eclipsed by George Russell in Monaco in what is becoming a pattern as the 2022 season continues.

Russell has hit the ground running upon his Mercedes promotion, finishing every race in the top five and scoring two podiums along the way. His consistency has resulted in him currently running fourth in the Drivers' Championship, 34 points clear of his illustrious teammate.

Hamilton has had a more mixed season so far, scoring a podium in Bahrain but slipping to an anonymous 13th at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, and only barely scraping into the points in Saudi Arabia.

But Wolff pointed out that it's more bad luck that is hitting Hamilton and affecting his results, rather than a lack of speed compared to Russell.

Wolff: The pendulum will swing back for Hamilton

"No, I think when you look at the bad spells that Lewis had [in] the race today - stuck again, contact with Esteban [Ocon], stuck behind Fernando [Alonso], the red flag in qualifying and you know what has happened in races before," Wolff told media, including RacingNews365.com, when asked if Russell's apparent superiority is becoming the norm.

"I think the pendulum will swing in so these unlucky situations stop for Lewis – they're very much on the same pace.

"[In] one practice one leads, then the other one, and that is great how they work together because we need to get the car straight."

Wolff confident Mercedes are third-best

Wolff went on to say that, aside from some ebb and flow in the team's form at individual circuits, he believes the W13 is the third-best car on the grid.

"The problem is that we can say, 'Well, this is a track where it's going a little bit better' – like it was in Barcelona or it's a track where it's worse, like here in Monaco," he explained.

"I think we are the third team. We're not second, and we're not fourth.

"We have two extremely strong drivers, but it is a huge annoyance for all of us that the gap is about the same.

"If you're looking at it optimistically, it's five-tenths. If you're looking at it pessimistically, it's more eight-tenths. For all of us at Mercedes, that's not acceptable."

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F1 2022 Monaco Grand Prix RN365 News dossier

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