Lewis Hamilton has reportedly told Mercedes he won’t be retiring, and that he “does not fear George Russell”.
The Mercedes driver lineup for 2022 will be an all-British pairing of Hamilton and Russell. However, there was major doubt cast on that amidst rumours that the seven-time world champion was retiring from the sport following the way he was robbed at the Abu Dhabi GP.
The situation seemed complicated, with Mercedes even considering replacements in the event of a potential Hamilton retirement. However, he seems to have told his team that he won’t be going anywhere, with a bonus warning for those in his way, including his teammate.
Hamilton reportedly told Mercedes that he “does not fear Russell” in a confirmation regarding his stay.
Motorsport.com’s Italian branch reported that having just completed an intense battle in 2021, he is up and ready to go for 2022, and that no one would stand in his way.
Team troubles? Nah
Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff revealed that he was excited to see Hamilton and Russell compete together, but warned that an unhealthy rivalry will see them booted.
“This is Mercedes. We have no place for the genius jerk,” he had said a few months ago.
“Even a superstar driver has to respect team values. I wouldn’t hesitate in the future if a driver talked bad about the team or wasn’t appropriate, I would first deal with it internally and if that didn’t yield results I would take the driver out of the car. On the bench, yes.
“And George Russell is another intelligent young man. He will slot into the team but that doesn’t mean he has to hold back when driving. You can’t expect a lion in the car and a puppy out of it.
“But there are certain boundaries within the team that must be respected and George knows them very well. Once the lights are green, only the drivers are responsible.
“I can’t interfere, manage, or remote control them, but one thing is of ultimate importance — don’t touch. That’s your responsibility. You can race hard, but no contact,” he concluded.