Mercedes Chief Toto Wolff Backs Hamilton and Russell as F1’s Strongest Duo, Awaits the Right Car

George Russell, Max Verstappen, Lewis Hamilton (

Mercedes Team Principal Toto Wolff remains confident that his driver duo, comprising seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton and rising star George Russell, stands as the strongest in Formula 1. Wolff believes they can challenge Red Bull’s reigning champion Max Verstappen when equipped with the “right car.”

Since the introduction of new technical regulations in 2022, Mercedes faced a challenging period, winning only one race over the past two seasons. Red Bull, on the other hand, capitalized on the situation, securing 38 victories out of 44 races during this period.

Wolff, amid Mercedes’ decision to pursue a revised car concept in 2024, expressed confidence in his driver pairing. When asked if Hamilton and Russell were the strongest duo on the grid, Wolff stated, “If we give them the right car, yes.” He acknowledged Verstappen’s exceptional skill but emphasized that with the right machinery, Mercedes could be competitive.

George Russell, in his debut season with Mercedes, impressed by outscoring Hamilton and claiming the team’s only pole position and victory. However, his sophomore year proved more challenging, with several missed opportunities resulting in a substantial points gap behind Hamilton.

Wolff attributed Russell’s struggles to the fragility of the Mercedes W14 car. He acknowledged the swings in performance and highlighted the need for support during challenging times. Wolff commended Russell’s resilience and adaptation during the season, stating, “He’s a very strong character, and he came out of the summer [break] very strong.”

As Mercedes looks ahead to the 2024 season with a renewed car concept, Wolff is optimistic that Hamilton and Russell, with the right machinery, can pose a significant challenge to Red Bull’s dominance in Formula 1.