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Mercedes boss Toto Wolff defends Lewis Hamilton after his worst Formula One season ever


Lewis Hamilton, wearing a white jumper with his name on the front, at the Japanese Grand Prix

Lewis Hamilton finished sixth in the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix (Picture: Issei Kato/Reuters)

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff has defended Lewis Hamilton after his worst F1 season, saying it is ‘irrelevant’ team-mate George Russell beat him.

Hamilton finished sixth in the final standings – two places and 35 points behind Russell – after his campaign ended in retirement with a mechanical failure in Sunday’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

But Wolff said: ‘That is irrelevant. They weren’t racing for a world championship. They haven’t raced for victories apart from Brazil.

‘I don’t think for any of the team it matters whether they finish second, third, fourth or fifth.

‘Last year was much worse. It was taken away from us. This year we lost it on merit. We just weren’t good enough.

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‘Lewis has been really, really good because you expect a world champion, who has had the title taken away from him, to come in and smash everybody. But we didn’t give him the car to do that.

‘From a human side, his attitude and mindset this year was outstanding.’

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