George Russell blasts Mercedes for Lewis Hamilton decision

George Russell has publicly expressed concerns about Mercedes following the 2023 Japanese Grand Prix.

The Japanese Grand Prix witnessed a tense moment within the Mercedes team as George Russell expressed his dissatisfaction with teammate Lewis Hamilton’s controversial overtake early in the race. 

The incident occurred when both drivers temporarily left the track to position Russell ahead of the seven-time world champion.

On lap 16, Hamilton made an error, providing Russell with an opportunity to overtake him. However, the manoeuvre forced both Mercedes drivers off the track.

Russell was clearly displeased with Hamilton’s resistance to the overtake and voiced his frustration over the team radio, saying, “Who do we want to fight here, each other or the others?”

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Race stewards in Japan took note of the incident, but after reviewing it, they concluded that it constituted fair racing between Russell and Hamilton, leading to no further investigation.

The incident unfolded as Hamilton ran wide, allowing Russell to close in on his tail. 

A fierce battle ensued, which Russell believed was unnecessary. 

He was of the opinion that they should conserve their tires to compete with other rivals on the grid rather than engaging in an intra-team battle. 

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Russell felt he should have been allowed to pass Hamilton.

Following a series of pit stops by competitors ahead of him, Russell briefly found himself in second place. 

However, he soon slipped down the order in a challenging Japanese Grand Prix that neither of the Silver Arrows drivers felt confident about.

Qualifying proved to be disappointing for both Hamilton and Russell. Hamilton started in seventh place, one spot ahead of his teammate. 

The 38-year-old acknowledged that winning in Japan was an unlikely prospect, especially as Max Verstappen established a dominant lead on Sunday.

Both drivers criticised their car’s performance in qualifying. Hamilton pointed out, “Our car has loads of load on the front and not as much as we need on the rear. 

“So we’re a really long way down on that, and for me, it’s 100 per cent clear that’s a concept, and we have got to make sure we change that for next year, which hopefully we will. 

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“I gave it everything I could, I was happy with my laps; they were just not that quick compared to others.”

Russell echoed similar sentiments, stating, “It’s a fair representation of how we are on circuits like this. 

“When there’s a big contrast of corners – high-speed and low-speed corners, we struggle to cover all aspects.”