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Wolff rules out Hamilton priority as stunning record hangs by thread
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Wolff rules out Hamilton priority as stunning record hangs by thread

Wolff rules out Hamilton priority as stunning record hangs by thread

Wolff rules out Hamilton priority as stunning record hangs by thread

Wolff rules out Hamilton priority as stunning record hangs by thread

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff has insisted Lewis Hamilton will not be prioritised over George Russell at the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

Seven-time F1 world champion Hamilton is without a victory this year, with Mercedes struggling for pace through much of the campaign.

The Silver Arrows' pain came to an end at last weekend's São Paulo Grand Prix where Russell secured a maiden win in the sport, leading from the front and fending off the challenge of a resurgent Hamilton, who had earlier suffered damage after a collision with Red Bull's Max Verstappen.

With Russell having secured a win and Hamilton facing a first winless season in his F1 career, Wolff was asked whether the latter would be in for special treatment at Yas Marina.

“Lewis doesn’t need any prioritisation and it’s not what he ever would want," replied Wolff.

"He mentioned before that this record of winning a race in every season is less of a priority for him, it is more that we are getting the car back to where it can be and that we are racing for more race victories next year and hopefully, for a championship.”

Wolff cautious over Abu Dhabi chances

Red Bull has dominated the championship this season with both the drivers' and constructors' titles sealed well in advance of the end of the campaign.

But Mercedes has rebounded since the United States Grand Prix to at least threaten the Milton Keynes-based outfit's status and asked whether that could carry on into Abu Dhabi, Wolff remained cautious.

“I think we had the quickest package all through [the São Paulo] weekend. Whether that was on the soft tyre or on the medium, we were quickest," said Wolff.

“And why that is, I think it is just the sum of the parts of the development that has been brought onto the car, the good work that was done over the season from the PU side and all of us together.

“But we have seen the positive trend over the last three races and are we back at the domination? No, we are not.

“I think Abu Dhabi on paper is much more difficult for us also because we are still too draggy, but I think we know why we are better. Do we know why we were so far ahead of everyone? No, we don’t.”

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