George Russell: ‘I was definitely not going to risk anything on Lewis Hamilton’

George Russell has requested team orders at several races this season, most recently at the Monaco GP.

Following last weekend’s Monaco Grand Prix, George Russell has revealed that he wasn’t trying to put “pressure” on Mercedes by asking to overtake team-mate Lewis Hamilton, as a result of his five-second time penalty.

Russell was awarded a five-second time penalty by the FIA in the closing stages of the race at the Circuit de Monaco after rejoining the circuit unsafely.

On his out-lap following his pit-stop for Intermediate tyres, Russell locked-up at Mirabeau and drove down the escape road, demoting him from third to fifth.

After reversing out, the 25-year-old cut across the front of Sergio Perez whilst attempting to rejoin the racing line, causing a hefty collision between the pair.

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Russell was awarded with a time penalty as a result, something which seemingly made him panic.

The Mercedes driver was eager not to be demoted below fifth at the end of the race once his penalty was added to his finishing time, with him having urged for team orders to help his case.

Russell asked the team to let him overtake Hamilton in fourth, to give him a bigger buffer to sixth-placed Charles Leclerc.

Mercedes rejected Russell’s request and assured him that his pace was already better than Leclerc’s, which it comfortably was.

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The former Williams driver maintained fifth and finished over 10 seconds ahead of the home hero, who struggled in the wet conditions.

Russell has since insisted that he wasn’t telling Mercedes to let him overtake Hamilton, but instead to simply “consider it”.

“I was being held up by [Esteban] Ocon and Lewis, and Charles was closing me down,” Russell told media, including

“I was definitely not going to risk anything on Lewis in conditions and a circuit like this but, with that five-second penalty it could have been a good buffer if Charles had caught up. But it was not needed in the end.

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“I said to the team, no obligation and no pressure from my side, but just to consider it.”

In the start of his second season with Mercedes, Russell has noticeably become more vocal over the team radio, with him having enquired about team orders at the majority of races this season.

Whether he asks for team orders again this weekend in Barcelona remains to be seen; however, it’s definitely happening more often than not.