Rosberg explains why Mercedes has taken ‘a big risk’ in signing Russell amidst potential Hamilton clash

Nico Rosberg gave his verdict on the George Russell signing, saying that there is quite a bit of risk involved in it.

Rosberg is a former Mercedes driver himself, and he is all too aware of what happens in the camp when two drivers are both gunning for the title.

With Mercedes signing young gun Russell to partner seven-time champion Lewis Hamilton, there may well be a rivalry between the 2022 teammates.

Russell is touted to be a step up from Valtteri Bottas, who never mounted a title challenge to Hamilton. Given the age difference between the seven-time champion and the Williams driver,  there could be another Hamilton-Rosberg rivalry in the making.

Rosberg gave his verdict on the Russell signing, saying that both extreme ends of the spectrum are possibilities.

“I think that Bahrain race (2020 Sakhir GP) is what helps George most, because Valtteri is a reference, he knows how Valtteri goes in qualifying with Lewis, often they’re nip and tuck, right there, and especially in Bahrain,” he said, as quoted by Planet F1.

George Russell with an engineer. Abu Dhabi December 2021.
Russell (pictured) will race for Mercedes. Source:

“And George was right there with Valtteri straight away, so that will give George a lot of confidence that he can get the job done and he will be quick enough.

“It was a difficult decision for Toto (Wolff), because the risk is quite high. If George is really on exactly the same pace as Lewis, it could become really intense in the team.

“There are a lot of unknowns there, is George always going to back out, or is he going to get his elbows out? That’s just going to be so great to watch.”


Martin Brundle disagreed with Rosberg, saying that the signing is 100% justified.

 “I think it was an easy decision because Valtteri (in Abu Dhabi) was a good example of why Valtteri is not the man to lead the team into the future,” Brundle said.

“Lewis is going to carry on for what, another two seasons? They needed their young gun to fight Max Verstappen, Charles Leclerc, Carlos Sainz into the future.”

Read more: Nico Rosberg slams Red Bull for pressurising Michael Masi into making season-defining decision

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