Mercedes changed Valtteri Bottas with Russell for this marketing campaign, marking their first driver change since Nico Rosberg’s shock retirement on the finish of 2016.
Given Russell’s potential coming into the crew, there have been fears that the earlier calm ambiance between Hamilton and Bottas could be eroded.
Nonetheless, issues have remained civil between Hamilton and Russell, partially all the way down to Mercedes not having a automotive able to difficult for wins or the championship.
Talking after Hamilton’s P2 end at america Grand Prix, Wolff revealed that his present drivers have a “actually respectful and constructive relationship”.
“It’s actually troublesome to be pals within the paddock particularly in the event you’re teammates however what I see is a extremely respectful and constructive relationship,” Wolff mentioned. “I’ve by no means seen earlier than two drivers that in a gathering they’re saying ‘What are you feeling in that nook?’ ‘Have you ever bought the identical drawback?’.
“There’s an actual lively alternate quite than retaining their playing cards to their chest so I feel that’s good for us.”
Russell at the moment sits 20 factors forward of Hamilton within the drivers’ standings with three rounds remaining.
The previous Williams driver confirmed unimaginable consistency within the first half of the season, failing solely to complete outdoors the highest 5 on only one event – at Silverstone – when he crashed out.
Regardless of being forward of his legendary teammate, Russell admitted in Austin that profitable races and championships is his foremost intention, not simply beating Hamilton.
“When you requested me that in the beginning of the season I in all probability would have mentioned it means every part as a result of in the event you beat Lewis Hamilton it means you may be world champion,” Russell mentioned in Austin.
“Clearly I need to end forward of him, in fact. I am right here to win races and be on pole place and I need to combat for championships. It’s every part on the road on the minute to try to obtain that.
“There are examples like in Montreal after I took the gamble on the slicks. If I simply needed to beat my teammate I’d have stayed out on the wets and made certain that was my focus however we needed to roll the cube.”