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Wolff poised for "wild ride" with future Russell-Hamilton partnership

Wolff poised for "wild ride" with future Russell-Hamilton partnership

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Wolff poised for "wild ride" with future Russell-Hamilton partnership

Wolff poised for "wild ride" with future Russell-Hamilton partnership

Mercedes motorsport boss Toto Wolff believes it would be "a wild ride" should George Russell be partnered with Lewis Hamilton in the future.

Russell's stellar performance across his debut weekend with the team has prompted suggestions he will be handed the seat on a permanent basis from 2022 when the Mercedes junior's deal with Williams expires at the end of next year.

Russell certainly put Valtteri Bottas in the shade to such an extent Wolff was asked whether there was any way he could get the 22-year-old in the W12 for next year.

"He is a Williams driver, he is signed up to Williams and our driver line-up is Valtteri and Lewis," said Wolff. "So I don't see this as a realistic situation at this moment in time.

"But I can understand that it would be an interesting situation to have them both in the team, and maybe a bit of a wild ride for all of us, but maybe we will have that in the future."

After passing Bottas into turn one on the opening lap, Russell then controlled the race and should have won it but for a pit-stop blunder from the team that saw him head out on the Finn's tyres.

Despite a fightback from fifth after that incident, he was denied a second opportunity for the win as he suffered a slow puncture with nine laps remaining at a time when he had closed to within three seconds of eventual race winner Sergio Perez.

Russell at least finished ninth and claimed the fastest lap to score his first points in F1, and although Wolff claimed that "I feel for George", he was thoroughly impressed by his weekend performance.

"We didn't want to set the expectations high and he over-delivered and over-delivered and over-delivered," enthused Wolff.

"He over-delivered on Friday, he over-delivered in qualifying when he was just a few hundredths away [0.026s] from Valtteri and he over-delivered in the race.

"His racing was unbelievable, he got off the starting line with the best reaction time in a car that isn't built for him, that is much too small with pedals that didn't fit and he got into the lead, drove a brilliant race and could have won twice.

"This is not a sad day. We learned that George Russell is somebody to count on in the future. He has all the potential, all the ingredients a star needs, a future star needs.

"In that respect, I am sad with that result that he could have had in his first race for Mercedes, but from the other side, I am happy about his performances."

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