George Russell determined to avoid 'poor dynamic' with Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes

By Sports Desk September 09, 2021

George Russell is determined to maintain a positive relationship with Lewis Hamilton as he prepared to join Mercedes "on level terms" with the seven-time world champion.

Such equality will not be reflected in their pay packets yet, but Russell is adamant he is joining the Silver Arrows to race for wins, saying he has "high aspirations" ahead of his close-season switch from Williams.

The 23-year-old will follow Valtteri Bottas in partnering Hamilton in the Mercedes ranks, after the Finn took over the drive from Nico Rosberg.

The rivalry between Hamilton and Rosberg was at times a fraught one, which has been the case between many great drivers in motorsport history.

But Russell says that for the sake of Mercedes making progress, it is essential the drivers start on a positive and respectful note, which is where he believes they are at present.

Speaking ahead of this weekend's Italian Grand Prix, where he will be driving for Williams, Russell addressed the importance of avoiding friction in a team.

"Yes, I think Mercedes have had clear experience of a sort of poor dynamic within the team and they've made it absolutely clear that they don't want a repeat and I think, on a personal level as well, I don't want that either," Russell said.

"I think it’s important for team-mates to work together, to push the team, and… next year, it's a new car, new regulations, there's no guarantees who is going to have the fastest car so it's our job as drivers to push that forward and I'd say as well, Lewis and I are at very different stages of our career, which I think also helps.

"And I have huge respect for him; being so much younger and looking up to him as a young karting driver changes that dynamic a lot. I don't see there being any issues at all."

Russell, quoted on the official F1 website, signalled that he saw his role at Mercedes not as being the second driver, deferential to the established leader, but as somebody who would receive equal treatment.

He said: “[I'm] definitely going in on level terms and that was made very clear to me.

"I think Mercedes have always been respectful in that regard, giving both the drivers the best opportunity, and obviously, naturally I believe in myself, and I have high aspirations, but equally I know how tough it's going to be.

"I think Lewis and I have got a really great relationship, we're at different stages of our careers, and we've got one goal next year which is to develop the car, push it forward and make sure that we, as two drivers, give ourselves the best chance of having the fastest race car and the only way we're going to do that is by working together to develop that."

The Monza weekend features a sprint race on Saturday to determine grid placings, rather than the familiar qualifying session, and Hamilton will again be going in search of a 100th grand prix victory on Sunday.

He has surprisingly won just one of the last nine grands prix, and the 36-year-old has been deposed again from top spot in the drivers' championship by Max Verstappen.

Next season, perhaps Russell will also be part of the title picture. Hamilton is relishing the arrival of his younger British compatriot.

"I think new fresh blood in our team is going to be great, obviously, because I'm the oldie there!" Hamilton said.

"I think that definitely will energise the whole team, knowing they have a new youngster coming through who's super-hungry, driven and will be pushing the team forwards."

Related items

  • FIA begins 'analysis' of controversial Abu Dhabi Grand Prix ending FIA begins 'analysis' of controversial Abu Dhabi Grand Prix ending

    A "detailed analysis" of the controversial ending to last month's Abu Dhabi Grand Prix has started, the Federation Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA) has confirmed.

    Seven-time champion Lewis Hamilton was denied a record-breaking eighth title when he was beaten by Red Bull's Max Verstappen on the final lap of the season-ending grand prix on December 12.

    Mercedes were furious with how race rules were applied in a safety-car situation and challenged the result, believing Hamilton was unfairly prevented from winning the race and the championship when Verstappen passed him with only a few corners remaining.

    The German constructors launched two challenges that were both rejected by the FIA, with Mercedes giving notice of an intention to appeal. However, the team eventually decide not to proceed down that route following discussions with F1 and the FIA.

    On Thursday, the FIA released a statement via Twitter outlining the next steps in their analysis of the situation, saying: "Following the decision of the World Motor Sport Council in Paris on 15 December 2021, the FIA administration, under the leadership Mohammed Ben Sulayem, has started the detailed analysis of the events of the last Formula 1 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

    "The FIA President launched a consultation with all F1 teams on various issues, including this one.

    "On January 19, an item on the agenda of the Sporting Advisory Committee will be dedicated to the use of the Safety Car. The following stage will be a shared discussion with all F1 drivers.

    "The outcome of the detailed analysis will be presented to the F1 Commission in February and final decisions will be announced at the World Motor Sport Council in Bahrain on 18 March."

    There has been recent speculation since the end of the season that Hamilton could retire from motor racing, with the 36-year-old and his team left distraught by the outcome, and reports suggest that the Briton is waiting to see the outcome of an inquiry.

  • MotoGP legend Rossi switches to four wheels for GT World Championship MotoGP legend Rossi switches to four wheels for GT World Championship

    MotoGP legend Valentino Rossi will switch to four-wheel racing to drive for Team WRT in the GT World Championship.

    Rossi ended his incredible MotoGP career last November, finishing 10th in his final race at the Valencia Grand Prix.

    The Italian icon, a seven-time world champion in the premier class, hung up his gloves at the age of 42.

    But Rossi has agreed to take on a new racing challenge, having tested with Team WRT in Valencia last month.

    He will be an official Audi sport driver, taking part in a 10-round competition striving to win the Endurance Cup and Sprint Cup.

    Rossi said: "I am delighted to join Team WRT for a full Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS programme.

    "Everybody knows that I have always been a great car racing fan and that I have always been interested in racing on four wheels once my MotoGP career would come to an end.

    "Now I am completely available to devote myself to a car racing programme at a high level and with the right professional approach.

    "Team WRT is the perfect fit I was looking for and I am anxious to start this new adventure in the Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS with them."

  • Hamilton taking a break from 'toxic' social media as brother dismisses worries over F1 star Hamilton taking a break from 'toxic' social media as brother dismisses worries over F1 star

    Lewis Hamilton is relaxing at the ski slopes and doing "fine" after losing out to Max Verstappen in the battle for the Formula One title, his brother Nicolas has said.

    Seven-time champion Hamilton was denied a record-breaking eighth title when he was beaten in a controversial finish to the second-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix on December 12.

    Mercedes were furious with how race rules were applied in a safety-car situation and challenged the result, believing Hamilton was unfairly denied victory in the race and the championship when Dutchman Verstappen passed him on the last lap.

    The crushing blow has led to speculation Hamilton could retire from motor racing, with the 36-year-old and his team left distraught by the outcome.

    Former F1 chief Bernie Ecclestone last week cast doubt on whether Hamilton would return to the sport in 2022, when he is due to partner George Russell for Mercedes.

    Since being denied another title, Hamilton has gone quiet on social media and stopped following the select few Instagram accounts that he previously watched.

    But Nicolas Hamilton says his superstar brother is merely unwinding with family, saying on livestreaming service Twitch: "Lewis is fine. I think he's just having a bit of a social media break which I don't blame him for.

    "Social media can be a very toxic place. But he's cool though. He's fine. Yeah, he's all right. He's watching the kids ski at the moment."

    Hamilton also missed out in the F1 team principals' driver of the year vote, coming in second to champion Verstappen.

    The result of a poll of team chiefs was revealed on the official F1 website on Monday, with Red Bull star Verstappen top of that particular podium too.

    With principals appraising drivers based on the race system, where first place earns 25 points and 10th takes only one, Verstappen scored a total of 213 points, with Hamilton scoring 192 in second place.


    Team principals' driver of the year result: 1. Max Verstappen 213, 2. Lewis Hamilton 192, 3. Lando Norris 110, 4. Carlos Sainz 85, 5. Charles Leclerc 70, 6. Fernando Alonso 69, 7. Pierre Gasly 64, 8. George Russell 44, 9. Valtteri Bottas 43, 10. Esteban Ocon 41.

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.