'Hamilton possibly no longer speaks to Russell after replacement in Bahrain'

'Hamilton possibly no longer speaks to Russell after replacement in Bahrain'

06-04-2021 08:34 Last update: 09:29

There is a remarkable rumour doing the rounds in the paddock. Lewis Hamilton is said to have not spoken to George Russell since the 2020 Sakhir Grand Prix. Toto Wolff knows nothing about it, but doesn't rule out the possibility either.

In 2020, the championship was already decided when Lewis Hamilton was infected with the coronavirus. The Brit was unable to compete at the Sakhir Grand Prix, so his team had to find a replacement. Stoffel Vandoorne seemed the most logical choice as a reserve driver, but Wolff chose another route.

Duel at Mercedes

George Russell was picked from Williams. The Brit is a junior at Mercedes who already showed some nice racing skills at Williams, and he got his chance to show how good he really was. In his first qualifying session for Mercedes, he was only narrowly beaten by Valtteri Bottas.

Victory didn't come in the end due to a mistake by the team, but Russell immediately left quite an impression. Naturally, this left people wondering why Russell wasn't put in that car instead of Bottas, or perhaps Hamilton, who would demand a huge salary in the 2020 contract negotiations.

Hamilton versus Russell

In 2021, however, it's Hamilton and Bottas again in the Mercedes, but the contract of both expires at the end of the season. The same goes for Russell's contract, and so Wolff has all the choice for 2022. However, Hamilton would no longer talk to Russell due to all these circumstances. At least that's the rumour, but Wolff doesn't want to deny that.

''This is the first time I have heard this. However, the feelings of my drivers are the last thing on my mind. I can imagine it though because the competition between these two is very strong. The big boys always feel it when a good guy comes along, and Russell is the next generation,'' Wolff said to Sport 24.