In a recent interview, Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff revealed that there is fierce competition between Hamilton and Russell. This statement gave rise to a lot of speculation that things between the two drivers are not quite right.
This scenario has come around as a result of Russell’s substitute appearance for Mercedes, when he drove Hamilton’s car at the 2020 Sakhir Grand Prix.
Russell, however, cleared the air and said that his relationship with Hamilton is the same as that with other drivers on the grid. He went on to say that the relationship between the two is “completely fine”.
This statement was released by the Williams driver at a press conference where he was asked to clear the rumour before the upcoming Emilia Romagna Grand Prix in Imola.
“I think the question towards me was ‘did you speak to Lewis after Bahrain?’ And we didn’t speak, as we wouldn’t speak after any other race,” Russell told reporters.
“We are racing against each other. If we would see each other in the paddock, we would speak. We’ve seen each other this year, a little fist-bump along the way, and that’s been the same since it has been since 2019.
“My relationship towards Lewis is the same as it is with a lot of the drivers around the paddock, which is completely fine.
“There are no hard feelings or no issues between myself and Lewis.”
Red Bull test driver and Russell’s long-time friend Alex Albon believes that the Brit can really challenge Hamilton if the pair were placed alongside each other at Mercedes in 2022.
2021 will see the end of contracts of Hamilton, Valtteri Bottas and Russell. Mercedes is yet to decide who will be their new drivers moving forward.
Russell has also revealed that he has not considered a move away from Mercedes.
“Mercedes have been loyal to me since day one, so that isn’t even crossing my mind at the moment. They have their faith in me, I have my faith in them and time will tell.
“It’s been clear since 2016 when I signed for Mercedes – do the job on the track and the opportunities will come. That’s been the case through GP3, Formula 2 and my career in Formula 1.
“Obviously we signed the three-year deal [with Williams] back in 2018. Let’s wait and see but at the moment, that thought hasn’t even crossed my mind.”
Do you think Russell is a match against Hamilton? Let us know in the comments below!
Read More: Bottas feels Mercedes’ years of domination could be a thing of the past – “Difficult seeing the starting point”