Mercedes confirm they’ll internally discuss Lewis Hamilton and George Russell incident

Mercedes drivers Lewis Hamilton and George Russell sparked controversy at the 2023 Japanese Grand Prix.

Mercedes’ Bradley Lord confirmed after the Japanese Grand Prix that Lewis Hamilton’s and George Russell’s battle would be discussed in the team’s post-race debrief, when the “heat of the moment” has cooled.

Lord is standing in for team principal Toto Wolff this weekend alongside ex-F1 driver Jerome D’Ambrosio, as the Austrian is having surgery back in his home nation.

Wolff would’ve presumably watched the race from the comfort of his home, where he would’ve seen his drivers battling each other rather than their competitors.

Hamilton and Russell endured two battles at Suzuka, with the first having ended with the seven-time World Champion forcing his team-mate off the track at Turn 14.

Want to work in Formula 1? Browse the latest F1 job vacancies

The incident was noted but not investigated by the race stewards.

Russell was quick to complain over the team radio about Hamilton’s driving, but was soon put into clean air as the 38-year-old pitted.

Hamilton completed a two-stop strategy whilst Russell attempted a one-stop, which saw him move ahead of several lead drivers towards the end of the race.

However, Russell was quickly picked off by those around him on fresher tyres, including Hamilton.

Article continues below

Mercedes ultimately told Russell to let Hamilton past, to avoid the duo both being overtaken by Carlos Sainz.

Instead, only Russell was overtaken by Sainz, leaving Hamilton to finish in fifth with Russell in seventh.

It was certainly a difficult race for Wolff’s stand-ins to manage, but Lord insisted that the duo are able to “race each other hard”.

“They race each other hard on a hard-racing track,” Lord said, as reported by

“It’s easy to read a lot into those radio messages in the heat of the moment. As always, we talk about it away from the pressure and the high temperatures of the cockpit in the debrief after.

“That’s where anything gets tidied up that needs tidying up. The two-stop worked for Lewis. With George, he was ahead of Alonso. It offered an opportunity to Sainz. It didn’t quite work out ultimately but it was worth a gamble.”

Lord further explained how a lot of their race was about making up lost ground, following Hamilton’s opening lap collision with Sergio Perez.

READ: Max Verstappen penalty reviewed after George Russell lashes out

In the end, the Silver Arrows did see their advantage over Ferrari for the fight for P2 in the Constructors’ Championship reduce to just 20 points, with six races remaining.

“It was a battle out there from the point where Lewis had contact with Perez on the straight. It put us on the back foot, we lost position on Lap 1,” Lord added.

“It was a case of how far we could fight back from there.

“Lewis drove to the limit of the car on the two-stop, George rolled the dice on a one-stop. We tried to see if we could make it work. Fifth and seventh is better than sixth and seventh, and it helps to minimise the points difference to Ferrari.”