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Russell on Hamilton relationship: ‘Wolff was very clear what he expected’

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George Russell immediately beat seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton in his first season at Mercedes last season. For Hamilton, it was the first time since 2016 that he lost to his teammate over an entire season. The relationship between the two compatriots is good and there were no conflicts last season. Russell explained at Auto, Motor und Sport how that is possible.

“I think going back to the management of Toto. He was very clear from the beginning what he expected from one another. I think Lewis and I have a good relationship. When you maybe look in the past there has been a slightly closer age gap between the two. And there’s been people fighting for that top spot within the team. With Lewis and I, there is no top spot. We are both on an equal playing field,” says single Grand Prix winner Russell.

Whereas the 24-year-old driver is still at the beginning of his career, Hamilton is in the autumn of his career. “We are helping one another, we are on this journey to improve the car and trying to get Mercedes back to the top. It’s a different dynamic to let’s say Lewis and Fernando, or Sebastian and Mark, or Prost and Senna. Two people similar age battling together. Hopefully it continues. I see no reason why [it wouldn’t continue if we’re fighting for the championship].”

Fighting for world title in 2023?
Still, there will be a different dynamic within the team as the two Brits fight each other every Grand Prix for victory and perhaps the world title. “But I think we are both mature enough and experienced enough to know what the team needs. It needs harmony and a good relationship to be able to push us forward. If we breakdown our relationship, it won’t benefit the team and will compromise us. Maybe we don’t have the car to fight for victories so we know the importance of this,” Russell said.

Mercedes hopes to finally close the gap to Ferrari and Red Bull Racing with the W14. Rumours suggest that the development of the 2023 car has been delayed in Brackley. Mercedes engineers have reportedly been working overtime to ensure the W14 is ready in time for the new season.

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