Mercedes drivers Lewis Hamilton and George Russell had pretty good communication in the beginning. However, when Russell joined the Mercedes team, it was clear that Hamilton wouldn’t have it easy like he had with Valtteri Bottas. Moreover, the new driver was able to beat the Mercedes legend in the drivers’ standings of the 2022 season despite the team losing its grip on the title.
Since 2022, Mercedes has fallen far behind Red Bull in terms of pace. However, it is not Russell’s fault. Instead, it is the car that is letting the drivers down time and again. Although, gradually, it seems things are turning sour between the Mercedes drivers. A few Grands Prix ago, Lewis Hamilton pointed out that he is having a better year than his teammate in terms of performance. Perhaps he pointed it out because of what happened last year. But what happened at the Qatar Grand Prix raised even further questions about Hamilton and Russell’s understanding.
Lewis Hamilton Clarifies Everything’s Alright Between Him And Russell
In Japan this year, the seven-time champion apparently pushed George Russell at the Spoon corner wide as the drivers squabbled. The 25-year-old Mercedes driver did not like that move at all. Later, in the Qatar Grand Prix, Lewis Hamilton tried an audacious move around the outside of Russell’s car. Eventually, that move led to the two Mercedes cars colliding on Sunday. As a result, it was another failure for the German team this season. Initially, Lewis Hamilton blamed Russell for the collision at Lusail. Later, the seven-time champion calmed down and accepted the responsibility for the collision. When Hamilton came to talk to the media, he said that they are a great team and he will talk with Russell to get this failure past them. Moreover, Lewis Hamilton told Sky Italy that they have a great relationship.
Adding to that, he mentioned he is happy to accept the responsibility as the older guy. More importantly, Hamilton thinks Russell had nowhere to go at the time of the collision. Moreover, Lewis Hamilton blamed his car’s tires, which made it riskier to overtake other cars. But Hamilton added that his and Russell’s relationship is still pretty tight, and they always talk about things. Bradley Lord, the communications chief of Mercedes in the absence of Toto Wolff, praised Hamilton for being the bigger man in this situation. Lord said that champions act not only in winning times but also in the difficult ones. That’s what Lewis Hamilton proved in this case. He showed the strength of his character to come out and speak.
Did Mercedes Make A Mistake By Replacing Bottas With Russell?
Albeit, Russell has not been as successful as Valterri Bottas has been for Hamilton. With Bottas, the Briton went on to win four Driver’s World championships. In fact, Bottas had the best partnership with Hamilton. Otherwise, Hamilton’s previous partners, like Fernando Alonso and Nico Rosberg, have always challenged the Briton. But Bottas was the one teammate who kind of let Hamilton enjoy complete hegemony for so many years.
In 2021, Bottas and Hamilton together were able to help their team win the eighth consecutive constructor championship. Albeit, Lewis Hamilton missed out on his opportunity to win the coveted eighth title. But the partnership was working so well for Mercedes all these years that it did not make sense for many to replace Bottas with George Russell in 2022.