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F1 | Emilia Romagna GP | George Russell: “My relationship towards Lewis is completely fine”

George Russell has dismissed suggestions he was no longer on speaking terms with Lewis Hamilton after replacing him for Mercedes last year

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F1 | Emilia Romagna GP | George Russell: “My relationship towards Lewis is completely fine”
Fuente imagen: Williams Racing F1

In December 2020, in the wake of Lewis Hamilton testing positive for Covid-19, George Russell, as part of the Mercedes young drivers program, stepped in to replace the 7-times world champion behind the wheel of the all-conquering Mercedes W11. The young Briton made a momentous entrance and lost what looked like an almost guaranteed win, due to various mishaps.

Following his memorable performance around Sakhir, rumours were of a freeze in the relationship between the fellow countrymen. Toto Wolff answering to the media about a possible rift between the two, turned it down as he answered not having knowledge of his lead driver and his junior talent not speaking to each other.

During the press conference ahead of the grand prix, George Russell was asked to set the record straight, and made sure to clarify:

I think the question towards me was did you speak to Lewis after Bahrain, and no, we didn’t speak, as we wouldn’t speak after any other race

We are racing against each other. If we see each other in the paddock, we would speak. We’ve seen each other this year, a little fist bump along the way, and that’s the same as it’s been since 2019 and last year before the Bahrain Grand Prix

My relationship towards Lewis is the same as it is with a lot of the drivers up and down the paddock, which is completely fine

So there’s no hard feelings and no issues between myself and Lewis”

Contemplating his future within the Brackley-based, and considering Mercedes having both Hamilton and Bottas out of contract by the end of 2021, Russell was questioned about the likelihood of him looking outside of his Mercedes family, in case he didn’t get an opportunity in the senior team in the near future. For the 23-year old, the loyalty Mercedes has shown him since the early days of his racing career warranted his total commitment, as the idea hadn’t even crossed his mind at the moment.

They have their faith in me, I have my faith in them, and time will tell,” Russell said.

It’s been clear since day one since 2016 when I signed for Mercedes, do the job on the track and the opportunities will come, and that has been the case through GP3, F2, and then with my career in Formula 1.

Obviously we signed the three-year deal [with Williams] back in 2018. Let’s wait and see. At the moment, that thought hasn’t even crossed my mind.


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