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Toto Wolff

Wolff gives his assessment of Russell after first two races at Mercedes

George Russell made the step up from Williams to Mercedes for the 2022 season and has impressed his new boss so far.

George Russell
Article
To news overview © RN365/Michael Potts

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff has praised George Russell for doing a "great job" in challenging circumstances across his first two races as a full-time Silver Arrows driver.

Russell stepped up to Mercedes after three seasons at Williams, but the move has coincided with the reigning Constructors' World Champions slipping to third in the pecking order under F1's new regulations – behind Ferrari and Red Bull.

Amid Mercedes' relative struggles, Russell bounced back from a compromised first qualifying session in Bahrain to deliver an assured race-day performance, following teammate Lewis Hamilton home in fourth after capitalising on Red Bull's double retirement.

At the following round in Saudi Arabia, Russell appeared to have the measure of Hamilton all weekend - as the pair went in different set-up directions - to qualify and finish comfortably clear of the seven-time title winner.

Wolff "very happy" with Russell's start at Mercedes

While Mercedes push hard to get on top of the issues with their W13, Wolff expressed his satisfaction at how Russell has adapted to life alongside Hamilton.

"I think he does a great job," Wolff told media, including RacingNews365.com, when asked to rate his new arrival to date.

"[But] he's not given a tool to fight at the front, where he and Lewis deserve to be.

"George has proven that he has the ability of racing at the front, but simply at the moment, we're not providing him with the car.

"I'm very happy with his performance overall."

When will Mercedes have a car to fight again?

As it stands, the biggest issue Mercedes are facing with their 2022 car is that of bouncing - or porpoising - along the straights.

Russell recently stated that by getting rid of porpoising, Mercedes would solve "99 per cent of our issues", but Wolff says there is "deficit everywhere" for his team to overcome as the season develops.

"I think we are not running the car where we wanted to run it," said Wolff.

"Therefore, it is very difficult to really assess what the lap time deficit is if we were able to run the car lower [to the ground].

"I would very much hope that the gap is much closer to what we've seen [in Saudi Arabia], but there's deficit everywhere."

Mercedes sit second in the Constructors' standings, 40 points adrift of Ferrari and a point clear of Red Bull.

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RacingNews365.com F1 journalists Dieter Rencken, Mike Seymour, and Thomas Maher look back over the Saudi Arabia Grand Prix in Jeddah, which was won in dramatic fashion by Red Bull's Max Verstappen.

F1 2022 Saudi Arabia Grand Prix RN365 News dossier

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