Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team underwent a major change at the end of the 2021 season. In the aftermath of the highly controversial Abu Dhabi 2021 Grand Prix, the Silver Arrows had lost their driver’s championship winning streak. Moreover, to further reclaim the lost dominance, the team decided to switch the second seat.
With Lewis Hamilton seated safely in the primary seat, Mercedes promoted a young British driver named George Russell from Williams to replace an aging Valtteri Bottas. While the move was made to safeguard the team’s future, it seemingly backfired, believes F1 pundit Peter Windsor. He believes that choosing Russell over Bottas as Hamilton’s teammate was an error in judgment from Toto Wolff’s end.
Peter Windsor Claims George Russell’s Arrival Has Caused An Imbalance In Mercedes!
As Mercedes entered a new era post-2021, Valtteri Bottas was replaced by a young sensation named George Russell. Apparently, with Lewis Hamilton nearing his end, team principal Toto Wolff wanted to secure the team’s future, and thus invested in Russell. However, the youngster has failed to build a chemistry with his legendary teammate, Hamilton. The duo has often been witnessed at crossroads with each other, particularly at the recently concluded Japanese Grand Prix. Meanwhile, former Williams team boss Pete Windsor weighed his thoughts on the same. He believes that Russell’s appointment over Bottas was completely unnecessary. It has imbalanced the team’s hierarchy.
Citing Red Bull’s example, Windsor explained that having a hierarchy in the team is important. There must be a clear choice of the number one between the two drivers. With Mercedes, they already had a number one driver in Lewis Hamilton. Thus, they didn’t need to pair him up with another quick and championship caliber teammate like George Russell. “If you’ve got Lewis, you don’t actually need George. If you’ve got George, you don’t need Lewis. It’s an imbalanced team,” added Windsor. The former boss further added that the imbalance pairing had caused a major rift between the teammates, which is, in turn, jeopardizing the Brackley-based outfit’s chances of winning a championship. Moving ahead, the team needs to address the hierarchy issue, as both the British drivers are locked in till 2025.
Lewis Hamilton Urges George Russell To Put The Team First!
The recently concluded Japanese Grand Prix exposed the boiling tensions between Mercedes teammates Lewis Hamilton and George Russell. The young British driver defied team orders by refusing to switch positions with his teammate. Apparently, the switch order aimed to provide Lewis a better chance at scoring more points by defeating Ferrari. However, Russell delayed the switch, which gave Carlos Sainz enough time to extend the gap to Hamilton.
George Russell’s antics certainly did not sit well with Lewis Hamilton, who called him out in the press. He said they are not fighting for the position in the driver’s championship since the gap is not even close. While Lewis is at 190 points, his British teammate is lingering down in the eighth position with 115 points. “So, now it’s about just getting the maximum points for the team, and I think that’s what we did there,” said Lewis. He urged Russell to play for the team so that Mercedes could secure the runner-up position in the constructors championship.