George Russell claims he has no friction with Hamilton and says Mercedes “has more serious things to sort out”

The dispute between George Russell and Lewis Hamilton at the Japanese GP drew attention due to the almost aggressive manner that took place, especially in the first laps.

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And even with the apparent tension in the atmosphere after the race, with the two not even greeting each other as soon as they got out of the car, Russell tried to put things at ease, saying that Mercedes “has more serious things to resolve”.

“It was a good and difficult race”, began George after the stage held last Sunday (24), in Suzuka. “I was happy to put him under pressure and make moves to pass him. Therefore, I would take positive points from this”, he assessed.

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“I thought my pace was really strong considering how difficult it was to drive the car over the weekend. And again, getting a little frustrated on the radio is just part of the race,” he downplayed. When asked by journalists if at any point he considered having gone too far in the dispute, he denied it.

“No. We just wasted time with the other cars. As I said, we will not give up our position easily to others. The race was starting. I had more pace, but he was ahead, so it’s a racing thing, let’s not even discuss that. We have more serious things to resolve, like making our car faster,” he said.

Towards the end of the race, already using different strategies, Russell was instructed by the team to let Hamilton pass. Andrew Shovlin, director of track engineering at Mercedes, explained that the decision was to avoid a direct attack by Carlos Sainz on the seven-time champion, as the risk of the German team’s two cars losing to the Ferrari car was real.

“In the worst case scenario, we lose two points. But we could have left there with four points less, so taking stock, the team made the right decision. And on my part, zero resentment. Once again, we have to work and not be upset about being defeated with a fifth and a sixth against a fifth and a seventh”, concluded George Russel.

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