George Russell at risk of being immediately sacked by Mercedes?

A former Le Mans winner has called George Russell's actions “unforgivable,” questioning Mercedes’ response to the incident.

British racing driver Richard Bradley has expressed his belief that Mercedes should have terminated George Russell’s contract following his collision with Lewis Hamilton during qualifying for the Spanish Grand Prix.

Bradley branded the 25-year-old’s actions as “unforgivable” and questioned why stronger action was not taken by the Silver Arrows in response to the unnecessary and careless on-track behaviour.

Mercedes achieved a double podium finish at the Barcelona race, marking their best result of the season. However, just 24 hours before the start of the race, the outcome could have been significantly different.

In the final moments of Q2, Russell was pushing hard to escape the elimination zone and secure a spot in Q3. As he approached the start line for a flying lap, his teammate Hamilton was rapidly closing in on him, benefiting from the slipstream effect.

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It appeared that Russell was unaware of Hamilton’s proximity, leading to a collision between the two drivers. The pair narrowly avoided a potentially serious outcome for the team that could’ve cost them dearly.

Shortly after the incident, Russell apologised to Hamilton, and the pair moved forward to achieve a season-best result for the Mercedes team.

However, Richard Bradley, a former winner of the 24 Hours of Le Mans in the LMP2 class in 2015, believes that Mercedes should have taken stronger action by terminating Russell’s contract over the incident. 

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In an interview with the On Track GP podcast, Bradley stated: “One of the reasons I wouldn’t pick George [for Driver of the Day], what happened in qualifying with Lewis was just unforgivable, unforgivable. 

“There is absolutely no way that he wouldn’t have checked his mirrors before he started that lap. You always, always have a check before starting your push lap. He knew exactly where Lewis was. 

“Everything he says is complete rubbish; he knew exactly what he was doing. I’m amazed he wasn’t handed his P45 on the spot for that; that could have been like an aircraft crash.”