Not for the first time this season, George Russell was once again demanding team orders last Sunday, as a result of his own error.
Mercedes secured a positive 4-5 finish on Sunday at the Monaco Grand Prix with Lewis Hamilton having been the lead driver for the Germans, with Russell in fifth.
The 25-year-old could’ve finished third though, had he not locked-up at Mirabeau, an error which somewhat ruined his race.
Hamilton started the sixth round of the 2023 season in fifth whilst Russell began in eighth, with the pair having remained where they started for the bulk of the 78-lap race.
Russell was promoted ahead of Hamilton when the seven-time World Champion completed his mandatory pit-stop, whilst the former Williams driver was running deeper into the race in a bid for fresher tyres in the closing stages.
The race suddenly turned on its heads though, as the heavens began to open, with everybody having pitted for Intermediates.
Due to having not pitted yet, Russell was able to switch from his starting tyres onto the Intermediates, meaning he made a pit-stop less than the majority of drivers around him.
The sudden change in conditions put Russell in a prime position to claim his first rostrum of the season; however, his chances vanished after he locked-up on his out-lap.
Russell went down the escape road at Mirabeau and fell behind Esteban Ocon and Hamilton, before dangerously re-joining the circuit in fifth.
The Mercedes driver’s afternoon went from bad to worse as he re-joined the Circuit de Monaco, with him having cut across the front of Sergio Perez.
It resulted in a heavy collision between the pair, which they both somehow escaped unscathed.
Russell was slapped with two penalty points and a five-second time penalty though, something which somewhat caused the Briton to panic.
Due to not wanting to finish outside the top-five, Russell urged the Silver Arrows to let him overtake Hamilton, so that he could build a big enough gap to Charles Leclerc in sixth.
Russell requested team orders multiple times, before team principal Toto Wolff informed Russell that the team wouldn’t be switching places and that he needed to calm down.
The British driver finished in fifth fairly comfortably, with Leclerc’s pace having been considerably slower than Russell’s.
It was another case though, of Russell seemingly putting himself before the team, with Hamilton having been putting the pressure on Ocon for third.
Had Mercedes allowed Russell to overtake Hamilton, the 103-time race winner would’ve been completely unable to at least challenge for a podium, something he only just missed out on.
It was certainly interesting to hear Mercedes reject Russell’s request so quickly, with the Briton having become more demanding over the team radio this season.
Whether Wolff will inform his driver to rein it in a little bit remains to be seen; however, it’s definitely noticeable just how vocal Russell has been in regard to asking for team orders.