George Russell Points Out Why the Hamilton-Rosberg Relationship “Fizzled Out”

Published 05/12/2021, 6:32 AM EDT
ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES: ART Grand Prix Formula 2 driver George Russell of Great Britain and Williams F1 and Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain and Mercedes GP talk in the Drivers Press Conference during previews ahead of the Abu Dhabi Formula One Grand Prix at Yas Marina Circuit on November 22, 2018 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)


Teammate chemistry can often be strange in Formula 1. While we have seen great pairings like Carlos Sainz and Lando Norris at McLaren, we have also seen pairings like Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes. George Russell, who has had a healthy relationship with his teammates so far, believes that the Hamilton-Rosberg dynamic went sour because of the competitiveness between them.

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The Williams driver himself puts up quite a fight against his teammates. Part of the upcoming generation of drivers in F1, he has consistently outperformed two teammates in the two seasons since he joined Williams.

George Russell: Didn’t have any reason for intense fall outs

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Rising through the ranks with drivers like Lando Norris, Russell believes there was never a reason for their relationships to go sour. Appearing on the In the Fast Lane podcast, he talked about his battle with Norris to explain the relationship he has with his competitors.

Formula One F1 – Portuguese Grand Prix – Algarve International Circuit – Portimao, Portugal – April 29, 2021 Williams’ George Russell during the press conference Pool via REUTERS/Gabriel Bouys

Speaking to Matt Clayton, he said, “We’ve come through the ranks together. I think, naturally, our relationship is still relatively good because there’s been no reason to have intense falling outs.

“Lando and I battled in Formula 2. But, we didn’t have any true battles, if you know what I mean. We didn’t go wheel-to-wheel and crash into each other, and we had no reason to hate each other.”

Hamilton and Rosberg’s story was different: Russell

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The 23-year-old thinks that the HamiltonRosberg battle in 2016 strained their relationship beyond repair. The two drivers started out as best of friends from their go-karting days. However, certain races in the 2016 season forced their friendship to deteriorate.

ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – Race winner Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain and Mercedes GP and second place finisher and World Drivers Champion Nico Rosberg of Germany and Mercedes GP on the podium during the Abu Dhabi Formula One Grand Prix at Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)

Russell said, “Maybe the same with Lewis and Rosberg. They were good friends back in the day. With those teammates, everything was hunky-dory.

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“And suddenly, few comings together and taking the championship down to the wire, and that relationship soon fizzles out.”

Should Russell move to Mercedes in the future, he could fight for race wins and championships. Could a similar situation happen to the Briton in the future, despite his friendships with other drivers?

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Sanket Nair

617 articles

Sanket Nair is an F1 Author at EssentiallySports. A Sports Management student, he is a huge fan of Sebastian Vettel and Daniel Ricciardo and hopes to see Red Bull break Mercedes' dominance and win the World Championship soon. Sanket has been hooked to the sport ever since he watched the battle for the 2010 World Championship go down to the wire at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

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