Toto Wolff urged to sack George Russell as Lewis Hamilton will get ‘annoyed’

Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg famously crashed into each other at the 2016 Spanish Grand Prix, as tensions boiled over.

Veteran journalist Peter Windsor has sent Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff a stark warning, to prepare for complete chaos.

Windsor predicts that Lewis Hamilton and George Russell will develop a rivalry “10 times worse” than that of Hamilton and 2016 World Champion Nico Rosberg, something Wolff will likely not want to imagine.

Rosberg’s and Hamilton’s rivalry was a ferocious one that built up over a three-year period, with their displeasure for one another having started in 2014, when Mercedes’ domination began.

Their rivalry developed until 2016, where the pair were locked into a title battle against each other, one that Rosberg came out on top of.

READ: Zak Brown denies Lando Norris ‘arrogance’ as he makes lack of credit claim

The duo famously crashed into each other on the opening lap of the 2016 Spanish Grand Prix, as a result of racing too hard against one another.

That was interestingly the race where Max Verstappen claimed his first F1 win, in what was also his first race for Red Bull.

Rosberg was just the second team-mate to beat Hamilton, an exclusive club that Russell joined in 2022.

Russell took the world by surprise in 2022, by largely dominating the seven-time World Champion; however, in Hamilton’s defence, the team weren’t fighting for wins.

Article continues below

The duo worked well together the majority of the time, although, there were already some signs that a rivalry could develop.

The former Williams driver seemed unwilling to battle Hamilton, with the 24-year-old having asked his side whilst leading the Brazilian Grand Prix if they were going to hold position, or fight.

With that in mind, Windsor expects Russell and Hamilton to go at it, with Mercedes’ newest driver to “drive into” the most successful F1 driver of all-time.

“I think it’ll be 10 times worse than Rosberg/Hamilton,” Windsor said during a recent Twitch stream.

“I think what you saw in Barcelona on that opening lap [in 2016] between Lewis and Nico is just the start of it between George and Lewis. Up another level.

“George is tough and hard, and he’s going to drive into Lewis quite a lot if they’re in race-winning, championship-winning cars, for sure.

“I think Lewis will still be Lewis – he’s still the best driver I’ve ever seen, since Niki [Lauda] maybe, at not getting involved in somebody else’s accident – but George will be right there every race.”

Windsor believes Mercedes made a mistake in signing Russell, who is a number one driver in his own right.

The issue is, though, that Russell will never be seen that way whilst alongside Hamilton, understandably.

READ: This is why Max Verstappen fights ‘King Lewis Hamilton’ ruthlessly

Windsor believes someone like Valtteri Bottas is a better team-mate for Hamilton than Russell, due to him being a solid number two driver.

“It’ll be so annoying for Lewis,” added Windsor.

“Which is why I keep saying that, in reality, if you’ve got Lewis you’re better off with Valtteri [as his team-mate].”