“I blame the media for it”: Peter Windsor criticises George Russell decision for Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes downfall

After enjoying years of dominance in F1, the last couple of seasons have ended up being rather challenging for Mercedes.

The Silver Arrows, led by Lewis Hamilton, were far ahead of the competition till just a couple of seasons back when the technical regulations of the sport changed.

George Russell and Lewis Hamilton. Credit: mirror.co.uk
George Russell and Lewis Hamilton. Credit: mirror.co.uk

Mercedes was clearly not able to cope with the changes and made a string of poor decisions as far as the design of their challenger was concerned.

Red Bull, meanwhile, under the expert guidance of Adrian Newey, grew from strength to strength to such a level that there was a realistic aim of the team to win all Grand Prix events this season.

While Mercedes was clearly not able to adapt to the change in regulations, another important change was also observed at the team, with Valtteri Bottas being ousted for George Russell.

Russell may well have surprised everyone with his performance for Mercedes during his debut season at the team, eclipsing seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton’s tally last year, but he has been labeled as the main contributor to their decline.

The addition of Russell has been dubbed by F1 expert Peter Windsor as making the team ‘imbalanced’ after a significant period where Hamilton was partnered by Bottas.

The duo enjoyed a healthy relationship and Bottas didn’t seem to have any apprehension in playing second fiddle to Hamilton, which in turn created far less animosity in the Mercedes paddock.

Things have changed now, according to Windsor, who expressed his views on his Youtube stream following the completion of the Japanese Grand Prix.

“The point is this should also be seen in the context of Lewis telling Toto endlessly to keep Valtteri, ‘He’s exactly the right guy’, and [Toto saying] ‘No no, no, we’ve got to have the next generation, George is the next generation, and quicker [etc.]’,” Windsor said.

“I blame a lot of the press for that because a lot of them were saying ‘Oh, you know Valtteri isn’t quick enough, George is quicker’ and, of course, then he won that race.

“I just come back to my thing of… if you’ve got Lewis, you don’t actually need George. If you’ve got George, you don’t need Lewis. It’s an imbalanced team, always has been, always will be, and that is the problem with it.”

Windsor paints Red Bull contrast

Windsor was quick to allude to Red Bull’s example, where it is clear for pretty much everyone that the team distinctly favours Max Verstappen over Sergio Perez.

While this may not personally be a great position for Perez, it has helped the team approach the task at hand with greater clarity.

“If you’ve got Max, you don’t need a George in the other car, you need a Perez,” he said.

“That’s why Red Bull is so good, one of the reasons they are so good.

“You don’t necessarily need anybody better than Perez because Max is there. It’s the same, we’ve got Lewis, so you don’t need a George –  you need a Valtteri. And that’s the problem.

“That’s why everybody’s now saying that. I think it’s unfair to say that George isn’t Formula 1 material or isn’t a potential World Champion.

“Of course he is, but he’s a very different driver to Lewis – he’s very, very quick.”

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