Lando Norris reveals the advice Lewis Hamilton gave him
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Mercedes chief Toto Wolff has cast aside any concerns that Lewis Hamilton and George Russell’s partnership at Mercedes will in any way resemble that of Hamilton’s with Nico Rosberg.
Hamilton and Rosberg had a fiery four years alongside each other at the British-based German team in one of the most intense rivalries of recent times.
Yet, after beating Hamilton to the title at the fourth time of asking in 2016, Rosberg promptly quit Formula One, with Valtteri Bottas coming in alongside the seven-time world champion to steady the ship.
Not looking for history to repeat itself, Wolff has already spoken about how he plans to keep harmony in the team by ‘conditioning and calibrating” Russell in the right way alongside the seven-time world champion.
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And the Austrian says he feels he has learned from past mistakes, and the dynamic next season will be “completely different”.
“I think we as a team can manage it much better now than maybe back then when we slid into the unknown,” Wolff told Motorsport-total.com.
“The dynamic between George and Lewis will be completely different. You’ve got the wizard and the sorcerer’s apprentice and I think they are both aware of that division of roles.”
Since Rosberg retired, the Hamilton-Bottas partnership has worked well, with Bottas quick enough to win races here and there but perhaps most importantly his personality has helped create the serene environment which has contributed to the team’s success.
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In the past, Wolff has admitted he would’ve had no problem dropping Rosberg or Hamilton for a race if their rivalry continued to prove detrimental to the team. The pair clashed at the Belgian GP in 2014, in Austria in 2016, and took each other off track during the Spanish Grand Prix the same year.
But Wolff blamed himself for how their relationship transpired and blamed inexperience for how it manifested.
Wolff added: “I have to put that on myself. But I was quite virginal in the role then. It’s different today. I didn’t know the past of the two drivers and maybe with the team then I didn’t react robustly enough to avoid these things.
“But Nico was also in a completely different situation to George. Nico was in the middle of his career, had been with Mercedes for six years in 2016, came earlier [to Mercedes] than Lewis. That’s why the dynamic was different.
“With Lewis, we have a driver who has now been at Mercedes for eight years, has a great career and is still in the middle of setting more records.
“And on the other hand, we have a young, up-and-coming talent who keeps putting in extraordinary performances like at Sochi and Spa in the rain.”
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