Mercedes F1 Boss Breaks Down Nuances of Lewis Hamilton – George Russell Battle at Miami GP

Published 05/09/2022, 10:50 AM EDT
BAHRAIN, BAHRAIN – MARCH 10: George Russell of Great Britain and Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain and Mercedes talk during Day One of F1 Testing at Bahrain International Circuit on March 10, 2022 in Bahrain, Bahrain. (Photo by Lars Baron – Formula 1/Formula 1 via Getty Images)

Mercedes boss, Toto Wolff, makes an interesting revelation about the incident involving Lewis Hamilton and George Russell. At the Miami Grand Prix, Russell gave the position back to Lewis Hamilton after overtaking him at lap 50. But this was not a call made by the Mercedes team or Toto.

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Russell’s W13’s all four tires were off the white line while overtaking the seven-time world champion. But this team order arrived after a request from the FIA and was not an internal decision in the Mercedes paddock. The position reversal was a common practice in the Mercedes garage back when Bottas was Lewis‘s partner. But this incident arouse only because of racing regulations and the involvement of the FIA.

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“There was no dialogue with the FIA and I think that’s how it should be. It’s the FIA coming back to us and saying ‘they need to change position’,” explained Toto. The no dialogue comment seems like a call back to the incident at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix from the previous season. A race that is still fresh in a lot of fans’ memories as Lewis missed out on his eighth world championship title.

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Since the current state of Mercedes isn’t allowing him to fight for his 8th title, it will be safe to assume Toto won’t be appealing to the race directors soon.

Lewis Hamilton is not the favorite, with Russell getting equal opportunity

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After the FIA directive came through to the Mercedes box. Russell’s race engineer promptly communicated the race director’s request. He said, “We need to give the place back to Lewis because we went off-track when you overtook. The earlier you give the place back the more chance you have to attack.” And as soon as Russell gave the position back, “you are free to attack now,” communicated the engineer.

Formula One F1 – Miami Grand Prix – Miami International Autodrome, Miami, Florida, U.S. – May 7, 2022 Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton during qualifying REUTERS/Brian Snyder

This goes to show the equal parity between both drivers at the Mercedes paddock now. This means that gone are the days when Lewis Hamilton was just handed a position whenever he came up against his teammate.

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Things are changing at the Brackley-based team. And with the future in mind, focusing on George Russell might just be the smarter thing to do.

Watch This Story: Lewis Hamilton Iconically Takes Over F1 Paddock With Dashing Looks In Miami

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Mahim Suhalka

164 articles

Mahim Suhalka is an F1 Author at EssentiallySports. This Sports Management post-graduate is an ardent supporter of the Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 team and their lead driver, Lewis Hamilton. The fact that Lewis dominated one of the most expensive sports in the world for all these years, despite his humble beginnings, has been a huge inspiration for Mahim and has made him a tenured fan of the competitive sport itself.

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