George Russell has dismissed any speculation that he and Lewis Hamilton could face a rivalry akin to the one between the seven-time world champion and Nico Rosberg during their time at Mercedes.
Despite predictions that the two drivers will be in the mix for the championship this season, Russell has assured that any issues between Hamilton and his former teammates were due to a smaller age difference, which is not the case between the two current Mercedes drivers.
“If there were problems between the drivers in the past, maybe it was because the age difference was smaller and there was fighting for the lead in the team,” Russell said.
“We don’t have that. If the good relationship with Lewis broke down, we would be start to hurt over time and not help the team.”
Russell and Hamilton worked well together last season while driving the ‘diva’ W13 and are expected to be given a title-contending car this year.
“For me, that victory in Brazil was more important than the points classification,” he told Auto, Motor und Sport.
“At the end of the day, nobody remembers that I beat Lewis on points. I only finished fourth, so no man’s land.”
However, Hamilton must be determined to avoid being beaten by Russell again, considering the increasing number questions around his age and ability.
Russell finished 35 points above Hamilton in the standings last season, but has confessed that he will look back more fondly on another statistic from his debut season at the Silver Arrows.
“Lewis and I work well because we know that together we can take the team further than going against each other,” added Russell.
“We know that we are building a car that will be faster than last year’s car. I’m also sure that we will improve compared to last year. But we don’t know what everyone else did – and that’s the problem, it’s a relative game.”