Ex F1 Team Boss Accuses George Russell of “Selfish” Game Against Lewis Hamilton

Published 09/29/2023, 1:16 PM EDT

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After years of basking in the glory while his teammate helped him along, Lewis Hamilton has an alarming reality in front of him. George Russell is no pushover. Well, Valtteri Bottas wasn’t one either, but Russell wants Hamilton’s head more than Bottas ever did. As Mercedes’ F1 efforts get better, this fact is becoming ever so clearer for the 7x champion and all of us to see. The 2023 Japanese Grand Prix was a case in point.

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Back at the Monaco GP, Russell infamously told the team to ask his 7x champion teammate to move over on the radio comms. And he’s done that a few times this season already. But at Suzuka, the duo finally came to blows. That’s when Russell quipped, “Are we fighting each other or the others?” The Brit has caught a lot of flak for his unapologetic and ‘entitled’ behavior recently. And now, an ex-F1 boss has called the Brit out publicly for his selfish motives.

George Russell – Not being a team player at Mercedes

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You can see how badly the Brit wants to usurp Hamilton’s place in the team. But is he being overzealous? According to Jordan boss, Eddie Jordan, the 25-year-old is like any other F1 driver he’s come across: Selfish.

On the Formula for Success podcast, Jordan was quoted as saying, “Look, all the drivers, and you know when you have a teammate, the last thing you want to do is finish behind them. So, you want a team to slightly give you the advantage. ‘I’ve got better tires, and I’ve got more traction, and I can catch the winner, I can win the race, let me go, let me go!'”

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Jordan knows F1 drivers all too well. Hence, he knows the real reason why George Russell has been trying to manipulate his way around Hamilton. He continued, “Well, that’s just selfishness, isn’t it? You just want to pass your teammate. You don’t care whether you win the race or not.”

It is weird to see someone like George not willing to play the team game. This is the same man who offered to sacrifice his race in Hungary 2 years ago for getting Williams’ first points in 3 years. Selfish or not, one thing is for sure: Russell isn’t going to back down anytime soon.

Russell issues backhanded warning to Lewis Hamilton

The chaos between the teammates in the opening stages of the Japanese Grand Prix could’ve cost Mercedes a whole lot given their close battle for 2nd in the Constructors’ with Ferrari. Naturally, in the aftermath, you’d have expected Russell to at least show that he’s wary of the consequences.

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Rather, he was pretty adamant. He told The Race, “It’s something, as I said, we’re not going to give a position up easily to one another. It was still early on in the race. I had more pace, but he was the car that was ahead. As I said, it’s part of racing, we’re not even going to discuss it, there’s nothing to discuss,” after the race.

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Is Russell’s ambition detrimental to Mercedes’ goals?

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Written by:

Anirban Aly Mandal

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Anirban Aly Mandal is a senior F1 writer at EssentiallySports, with over 1000 articles published on the platform. Anirban's love for F1 started when he discovered a copy of F1 2014 while playing on his computer, and he has since then dived deep into the world of motorsports. Anirban's expertise goes beyond just writing - he has also written several academic papers focused on the domain of motorsports.
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Edited by:

Aishwary Gaonkar

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