Nigel Mansell has rejected the idea that the relationship between Mercedes drivers Lewis Hamilton and George Russell will deteriorate further after some hairy moments between the pair this season. This belief directly contradicts that of former F1 team owner and icon of the sport, Peter Windsor.
With both Hamilton and Russell hopeful of fighting for podiums and the occasional shot at victory since joining forces as team-mates at the start of last season, the pair’s pace has been tough to separate, leading to a competitive head-to-head battle, but also plenty of instances of wheel-to-wheel action on the track.
This has provoked some intense moments this season, starting off with near misses in Spain, Belgium and Suzuka before the pair collided on the opening lap of the Qatar Grand Prix, sending Hamilton out of the race and Russell to the back of the field.
Speaking to AceOdds, Mansell was asked whether or not he felt that the pair’s relationship would deteriorate further, replying: “No, I don’t. You know, I think the Mercedes team is a fantastic team.
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“I think the partnership with George Russell and Lewis is brilliant. It’s amazing and compliments Mercedes having two nationalities of the same country racing together, because that’s rare. Mercedes will bounce back, I’m sure.
“And you know, Lewis I believe put his hand up and said, look, I was a bit overzealous, or whatever words you want to use. I think they’re both racers together, and it’s full marks for Mercedes doing the best they can.
“I think it’s unfortunate regardless of drivers and teams, again, that one of the drivers in the same team gets taken out in the first corner. It’s unfortunate. And then the other word to use, it’s really unnecessary. It’s a long race but they’ll learn from it. But no, I think Lewis and George are great teammates.”
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This opinion does not match that of Windsor, however, who has regularly stated that Mercedes cannot have another ‘number one driver’ alongside Hamilton. Earlier this season he explained: “Just imagine if Mercedes were in the running for the world championship in any given situation, in any given year.
“Imagine what it’d be like between Lewis and George Russell. The management have absolutely no control over them now, and there is nothing they could do about it because there is no way you can ever say to George Russell, ‘Lewis may well try to pass you on the outside, let him go.’ It’s never going to happen.”
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