George Russell says Lewis Hamilton avoided Mercedes upgrades in Monaco

F1 News

George Russell says Lewis Hamilton refused Mercedes upgrades for Monaco GP
29 May at 16:00
  • Toby Nixon

The relationship between George Russell and Lewis Hamilton has been questioned recently. Russell had an upgraded front wing on his W15 in Monaco, which led many to think that he was being preferably treated by the Silver Arrows as Hamilton will not be driving at the Brackley-based team next year. Russell, however, says that there is no tension between the pair. He instead was granted the upgrades over Hamilton as the seven-time world champion didn't want to risk damaging it.

Speaking to Channel 4, George Russell said that there was only one new front wing for the Monaco Grand Prix. “There was one front wing this weekend and it was agreed on Tuesday that we’d do a coin toss and see who got it. Lewis said he’d tried it on the sim and was happy for me to use it this weekend because it doesn’t go without risk."

Hamilton was happy to let George 'take that risk'

Lewis Hamilton crashed in practice at last year's Monaco Grand Prix at Mirabeau, which may be why he didn't want to risk the team's one and only front wing available. On that occasion, he lodged the car's front wing under the barrier, and marshals struggled to remove his stricken W14 from the scene.

Russell was ready to step up for Mercedes, taking the upgrade off of three-time Monaco Grand Prix winner Hamilton. "If we made a mistake in qualifying and damaged it, obviously that’s one front wing that we won’t ever be able to use again and you’d have to start from the pit lane. I was happy to take that risk using it and I thought it was a belated birthday present he gave me, saying I could use it," said Russell.

Asked whether or not the pair actually decided who the upgrade was granted to through heads or tails, Russell said: "No, we didn’t do the coin toss."