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'Not a nice experience' for Hamilton watching Russell drive his car - Wolff

'Not a nice experience' for Hamilton watching Russell drive his car - Wolff

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'Not a nice experience' for Hamilton watching Russell drive his car - Wolff

'Not a nice experience' for Hamilton watching Russell drive his car - Wolff

Mercedes motorsport boss Toto Wolff can understand the anguish Lewis Hamilton is likely going through in missing the first grand prix of his Formula 1 career.

After a record 265 consecutive race starts from his debut in Australia in 2007, the seven-time champion is sitting out the Sakhir GP after contracting Covid-19.

It has led to Mercedes drafting in protégé George Russell from Williams, with the 22-year-old so far proving he is worthy of a future drive with the team after qualifying just 0.026secs behind Valtteri Bottas to claim a front-row place.

Assessing how Hamilton will manage not being involved in a race for the first time, Wolff said: "He’s a very competitive person and a racing driver wants to be in his car and not see anybody else driving it.

"So I don’t know how he is going to organise his weekend but certainly it's not an experience that is nice for any professional sportsperson."

Wolff insisted Hamilton should at least not be admonishing himself, even if every effort was taken to avoid catching Covid'19.

"It wasn’t a mistake that he’s done or he didn’t do anything wrong," added Wolff.

"These things happen, the championship is won, but total understanding for not particularly enjoying the experience."

Providing an update on Hamilton's health after previously stating the 35-year-old was "not great", Wolff said: "I spoke with him last, probably a couple of days ago.

"We have been texting since then. I try to leave him in peace because Covid-19 is no fun. I think he is okay, as all of us would be in a foreign country with Covid-19."

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