Saudi GP: Cracks beginning to show in Lewis Hamilton and George Russell relationship

George Russell was promoted to a P3 finish after the race in Jeddah due to a post-race penalty for Fernando Alonso.

During their first season working together, George Russell and Lewis Hamilton shared what they both described to be a respectful relationship.

The main focus in 2022 was gathering data and fixing the issues with the W13, meaning that the duo were rarely battling against each other for podium finishes.

It was suggested that should the pair end up competing for results this season, their relationship could turn somewhat toxic, similar to how the relationship between Hamilton and his former teammate Nico Rosberg ended up.

The Saudi Arabian Grand Prix may have now shown the first glimpses of this breakdown in relationship, as George Russell appeared to refuse to follow team orders during the latter stages of the race.

READ: Furious Max Verstappen lashes out at Red Bull in Saudi Arabia

During the final stint, Hamilton was closing in on Russell, who was driving in P4, but the 38-year-old was on the quicker medium tyres whilst Russell was on the hards.

Mercedes asked Russell to allow his teammate through but the 24-year-old hit back at his team, telling them that they should let him catch up to Fernando Alonso, who had been given a five-second penalty for a race start infringement.

“Alonso has a five-second penalty here let’s fight later. I want to manage the tyres a little bit now,” he said.

Russell was then told that Alonso had served his penalty during his pit stop earlier in the race, which was information Russell believed he should have been told before.

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“Ah, again, info I need,” he shouted over the team radio.

Russell then went on to push on his longer-lasting tyres and held on to P4, ahead of Lewis Hamilton.

READ: Max Verstappen set for hefty penalty

The Brit’s decision was vindicated after the race as Alonso was given a ten-second penalty for not serving his penalty correctly during his pit stop.

This penalty moved Russell up into P3 to score his first podium of the season but the gap to Hamilton was too big to see the seven-time world champion also move up a position.

With Russell outperforming his teammate in both qualifying and the race in Jeddah, cracks are beginning to show in the relationship between the two Mercedes drivers.