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Wolff impressed by Hamilton/Bottas dynamic

Valtteri Bottas, Lewis Hamilton, British Grand Prix podium celebrations
© XPB 

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff has said he's impressed by how well the team's drivers Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas are getting on.

Wolff told Autosport magazine that both drivers had exceeded team expectations in terms of how well they are working together.

"They get on with each other, and respect each other, on track and even more off track," he explained. "It's very straightforward."

Bottas only joined Mercedes at the start of the year, after the abrupt retirement of Nico Rosberg. By that point, Hamilton's relationship with Rosberg had deteriorated almost to the point of open warfare.

"The personal relationship between Valtteri and Lewis is totally different than what it was between Nico and Lewis," Wolff agreed.

"The working relationship is just in a totally different league," he continued. "[It] carries over into the dynamics within the team, because everybody is affected in a positive or negative way.

"It came to a point in Silverstone when Lewis said: 'I'm going to pull him along with me," Wolff added. "It's just an underlying respect for the other individual and the other race driver."

Bottas was originally only signed to Mercedes on a one-year contract. Many in the paddock felt he would be a stop-gap until bigger names became free agents in 2018.

But with two Grand Prix wins in the first half of the season, Bottas has proved his ability. He is now regarded as a serious title contender along with Hamilton and Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel. Could the Finn have done any more to convince the team to extend his stay at Brackley?

"Valtteri for me is performing up to our expectations," said Wolff. "When we decided to take him we knew about his qualities.

"On track he has met our expectations and it's getting better every race. And he progresses every race, which is very nice to see."

Bottas' arrival at the team at the start of 2017 was one of a number of high profile changes at Mercedes over the off-season. New technical regulations have also eaten into the team's performance advantage over its rivals. But Wolff says he is satisfied with how the transition has gone.

"All in all, I would say we have done okay, considering there were so many changes," Wolff insisted. "A certain factor of disruption is not negative.

"If you would have said to me in the winter that we would win six races and have eight pole positions [at this point of the season], I would have taken it."

Mercedes currently has a 39 point lead in the constructors championship. However, Vettel has the upper hand in the drivers title fight, with Vettel 14 points ahead of Hamilton after Hungary.