Toto Wolff hits back after Lewis Hamilton raised George Russell suspicions at Monaco GP | F1 | Sport

Toto Wolff has insisted that there is no favouritism at play in the Mercedes camp after Lewis Hamilton made some eye-catching comments at the Monaco Grand Prix. After being out-qualified by his team-mate for the seventh time in eight races, the seven-time world champion suggested that there was an unspecified advantage at play for George Russell.

Hamilton has consistently been the faster driver in race trim this year, but after eight rounds of the 2024 campaign, Russell leads the qualifying head-to-head 7-1. So far, tensions have remained under wraps and the pair have a civil relationship, but the experienced Brit was far from impressed after losing out to his counterpart on Saturday.

“I don’t know if it’s a turn-down or something, but performance comes away from my car for some reason,” he said in Monte Carlo. “I expect it now. Every time I get to qualifying, I already know that I’m going to lose a couple of tenths.”

The 39-year-old then offered a glum assessment of his qualifying chances. “I don’t anticipate being ahead of George in qualifying this year,” he explained. When asked to clarify his comments, Hamilton paused before offering a cryptic reply: “We will see.”

In the end, Mercedes enjoyed one of their stronger weekends of the season thus far with Russell and Hamilton converting their respective P5 and P7 grid slots into finishing positions, but the mood in the camp was relatively downbeat given the latter’s strongly suggestive comments.

Discussing Hamilton’s claims, Wolff hit back: “Aren’t all drivers a bit sceptical at times? I think as a team we have demonstrated even in the most tense competitions between team-mates that we are trying to always balance it right, and be transparent and fair.

“I think there was not a moment, apart from the 2016 Abu Dhabi GP, where we tried to manage a race, and we haven’t done since then. I can understand that as a driver you want the best out of yourself and the team, and sometimes when it’s going against you, you can question.

“But as a team, we are 100 per cent on a mission of giving the two drivers two great cars, the best possible cars and best possible strategies and support.”

Next weekend, Hamilton will return to the site of his first-ever Grand Prix victory, but the legendary Brit was not enthusiastic about the upcoming race in the aftermath of Monaco’s procession. “I’m excited to go to Canada,” he said. “I wouldn’t say I’m excited about the prospect of racing there.”

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