Mercedes Formula 1 boss Toto Wolff says the relationship between Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas is like “Alice in Wonderland” compared to Hamilton’s previous rivalry with Nico Rosberg.

Hamilton and Rosberg endured a well-documented fractious partnership during their spell as Mercedes teammates as they directly battled it out for world championship titles between 2014 and 2016, prior to Rosberg’s retirement.

Relations between Hamilton and Bottas have been much more harmonious, with the recently-crowned five-time world champion suggesting the partnership is possibly the greatest that has existed in F1 history.

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When asked how much easier the relationship is to manage compared to the Hamilton-Rosberg era, Wolff told Sky Sports F1: “This is Alice in Wonderland compared to what we had before.

“They are ying and yang, all the talking happens on the track, there is nothing in the debrief, there is no politics.

“I’m not saying that in a negative way, every driver has his own way of trying to achieve success but Valtteri is an absolutely cool Finn.

“I don’t think he even realises if something is being manipulated. It’s a great relationship between the two.”

Mercedes came under fire for its use of team orders at the Russian Grand Prix when Bottas was instructed to concede his race-leading position to Hamilton in a bid to strengthen the Briton’s championship credentials.

There had been suggestions Hamilton might return the favour now that the drivers’ title has been secured with two races to spare, but both drivers dismissed the idea ahead of this weekend’s Brazilian Grand Prix.

Wolff also doubts such a scenario will occur, though he said both Hamilton and Bottas will be free to race with “no handcuffs whatsoever” as the team looks to seal its fifth consecutive constructors’ championship.

Asked if he felt Hamilton would give up a win to Bottas, Wolff replied: “I think no. Lewis is very much out there to win as many races and championships as possible and no driver wants to give up a race victory.

“I think Valtteri needs to gather himself and this is how it should pan out. We threw them into the water, [there are] no handcuffs whatsoever. They can just go out and drive the whatever off.

“I did always say these handcuffs existed because Lewis had such an advantage in the championship. We never said they didn’t exist.”

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