Lewis Hamilton insists there ‘isn’t a leader’ in Mercedes partnership with George Russell

Hamilton said he and Russell ‘work equally hard together to help drive the team’

Tom Kershaw
Wednesday 25 May 2022 10:21
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<p>George Russell has outpointed Lewis Hamilton so far this season</p>

George Russell has outpointed Lewis Hamilton so far this season

Lewis Hamilton insisted that he does not feel like the leader at Mercedes and that he and George Russell “work equally hard together”.

Hamilton’s hopes of winning a record-breaking eighth world championship have all but disintegrated during a miserable start to the season for Mercedes and he trails teammate Russell by 28 points in the drivers’ standings.

His place at the pinnacle of the sport today remains undisputed, though, even as the new generation of drivers led by Max Verstappen and Charles Leclerc begin to establish what appears to be a new era.

But when Russell was asked at a press conference what qualities he saw in Hamilton as a leader, the 37-year-old interjected and said: “Well, firstly, I wouldn’t say I’m the leader. George and I work equally hard together, I would say, to help drive the team and row just as hard as everyone else in the team.

“But through adversity and challenging times you always learn more about yourself, how you deal with things, how you reflect on things, how you are able to turn negatives into positives.

“I wouldn’t say I’ve learned particularly much more, so I will say past experiences have helped during this phase. And I would say to just reassuring the strength I know I have mentally.

“Also, just reassuring us I still love my job, I still love the challenge even if it’s not fighting for wins. I’m still enjoying this battle we are having internally in terms of trying to, with the car I mean, trying to chase down these other guys.”

Afterwards, Russell said it was “inspiring” to see how Hamilton and the rest of the Mercedes team push each other.

“I think that’s been one of the big things I’ve seen with joining Mercedes, seeing how Lewis does things, how Toto [Wolff] does things, the culture that’s ingrained within everyone,” he said.

“It’s sort of relentless. They are always striving for more, never being complacent and seeing how everyone’s pulling together at the moment to try and resolve these issues we are facing, it inspires and it’s also motivating for myself because you learn how the best in the business do it and you need to continuously push yourself for more.

“So I think I’m in a really privileged position to be team-mates with Lewis and be part of Mercedes.”

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