F1: George Russell hikes during the off-season
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George Russell has addressed rumours that he and Lewis Hamilton are no longer speaking after the Sakhir Grand Prix, saying ‘there’s no issues’ between the pair.
Rumours were swirling last week as Mercedes boss Toto Wolff admitted it wouldn’t be surprising if there was some hostility between Hamilton and Russell, however it would be due to the nature of the job.
Russell stepped in for Hamilton during the penultimate race of the 2021 season, and impressed as the world champion sat out the race with COVID-19.
On loan from Williams, the Mercedes junior qualified second fastest just behind his team-mate Valtteri Bottas, and managed to sweep past the Finn on the opening lap.
He was on course to win on debut, however due to a pitstop blunder, and a puncture, he had to settle with P9.
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Addressing rumours swirling around the paddock that Hamilton had stopped talking to the young Brit, Wolff admitted by the nature of the game, he wouldn’t rule it out.
“This is the first time I’ve heard that.” Wolff said to Sport 24.
”But the feelings of my drivers are the least of my worries. But I can imagine it’s because the competition between the two is very strong. The big boys always feel it when a good guy is coming [along], and George is the next generation.”
However Russell said: “I mean, 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.
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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 and we’ve seen each other this year, a little fist bump along the way and that’s been the same as it’s been since 2019, and last year before the Bahrain Grand Prix.
“My relationship towards Lewis is the same as a lot of the drivers up and down the paddock, which is completely fine.
“There are no hard feelings or no issues between myself and Lewis.”
Racing gets underway this weekend again for round two of the 2021 Formula One season – the Emilia Romagna GP with Hamilton leading the way in the driver’s standings.
Russell meanwhile will be looking to better his 14th place last time out in Bahrain with Williams, as he looks to score points this season for the Oxford based team.
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