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Toto Wolff says Mercedes don’t have a No 1 ahead of Lewis Hamilton-George Russell era

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff insists they have never had a number one driver as they prepare to begin a new era with Lewis Hamilton and George Russell.

Russell is Hamilton’s newest team-mate after Valtteri Bottas left at the end of last season, with the 24-year-old arriving following three seasons at Williams.

Bottas, who was regularly outperformed by Hamilton while at the team, has said he believes the seven-time world champion will remain Mercedes’ main focus.

But Wolff says there is no “one two” at Mercedes, although he did admit there is a new dynamic within the reigning constructors champions.

“We never had a situation where [it was] one and two; they had equal opportunities and the same car,” Wolff said.

“This year, the interesting situation is we have in George the up-and-coming star [in one seat], and undoubtedly the best Formula 1 driver ever in the other seat.

“So the dynamic is new and clearly it’s something that we will try to steer in a direction that has the most positive effect on developing the car and making us overall competitive.”

Hamilton himself has spoken about his new work environment and is aiming to help Russell thrive in the team. He said he knows what it feels like to have a teammate who is a champion, his rookie season he was on a team with Fernando Alonso, and wants to impart his experiences.

“I am excited to engage with him, to collaborate with him,” Hamilton said per GP Fans. “Hopefully, our styles aren’t too dissimilar. I know what it is like for him being in a position up against a world champion and I know the pressures that come with it, the expectations and the external feeling of what it is like.

“I want him to learn as much as he can and grow as much as he can. I have no doubts he is going to be a strong competitor. I will be focusing to make sure I also do the job to the best of my ability.”

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