George Russell was asked if speculation was true that he would no longer speak to Lewis Hamilton. The young Williams driver was brought in to replace the seven-time world champion at the Sakhir Grand Prix last year.
Russell did not give credence to the speculation and said that the relationship with Hamilton is still unchanged:
“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 with 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.”
His performance this weekend at Mercedes was excellent. Despite only a short settling-in period, the young Briton made it onto the front row of the grid for the Grand Prix, narrowly missing out on pole position. In the race, he immediately took the lead and led for almost the entire race. Only a pit stop error and a puncture held him back. He finished eighth in the end.
With the weekend in Sakhir, Russell underlined his skills and recommended himself for a place at Mercedes in 2022. Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas both do not have a contract yet and therefore it is not so unlikely that one could bet on a new driver.
The team boss of Mercedes, Toto Wolff, told the Austrian newspaper “Österreich” that he did not know anything about Russell and Hamilton being at odds, but he would not rule it out either. The battle for dominance between the older and younger drivers is great and therefore something like this could happen.