Wolff Responds to Rumors of Lewis Hamilton Snubbing George Russell

Published 04/05/2021, 2:48 AM EDT
Formula One F1 – Bahrain Grand Prix – Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain – Mercedes’ Team Principal Toto Wolff during the press conference FIA/Handout via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS – THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVES


Over the past few months, things have been awfully quiet between the seven-time world champion, Lewis Hamilton, and his potential replacement, George Russell. It has been a while since the two were even seen talking to each other. And of course, the starting point to such discomfort was the Sakhir Grand Prix last season.

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Ever since the one-off weekend for Russell, there have been rumors swarming around the two British racing drivers. But one of them caught everyone’s attention; Hamilton stopped talking to Russell entirely.

Subsequently, quite a lot have been breaking their heads in knowing what the actual truth is. Well, worry no more, as Mercedes’ team principal, Toto Wolff, finally opened up on the matter.

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Wolff’s view on the Lewis Hamilton – George Russell rumor

The Austrian revealed that the duo’s poor relationship is the least of his concerns and reckoned that the competition between the two is quite intense.

I’m hearing this for the first time. But the condition of my pilots is the least of my worries. But I can imagine that because the competition between the two is very strong,” he told Sport24.

Formula One F1 – Bahrain Grand Prix – Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain – March 28, 2021 Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton celebrates winning the race Pool via REUTERS/Lars Baron

The big ones feel when a good guy is coming. And George is the next generation.

Ever since the Sakhir GP, Mercedes have changed their perception towards how they rate Hamilton. In fact, for the first time in years, the Stuttgart outfit offered Hamilton just a one-year deal, hinting at the duo’s strong tie gradually dissipating.

Turning point to the possible Hamilton-Russell fallout

Lewis had just tested positive for COVID-19, leaving Russell with an incredible opportunity to race for the championship-winning team. Through the weekend in Bahrain, Russell did not take a wrong step and got up to speed in no time.

He was out-qualified by Valtteri Bottas by just over 0.2 seconds. But it took Russell just a few meters to retake the lead as the lights went out on the race day. And then, there was the unfortunate Mercedes’ pit-stop mishap and the late-puncture.

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However, in the end, despite failing to show decent results on the board, Russell had already impressed the entire Mercedes crew.

Hence, one might sense a tinge of competitiveness going on in Hamilton and Russell’s head amidst their battle for a drive at Mercedes over the next season.

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Rumors aside, how is reality going to treat the two? Will Russell replace Hamilton at Mercedes? Or will the British duo end up as teammates, leaving Valtteri Bottas out of the mix? Well, only time will tell.

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Rohit Kumar

659 articles

Rohit Kumar is an F1 author at EssentiallySports. He has been an ardent follower of the racing series since 2007, with his love for the sport coinciding with his love for Kimi Raikkonen. He is also an ardent follower of Sebastian Vettel and Aston Martin Racing.

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