WATCH: George Russell insists he’s not “sulking over” lost position to Lewis Hamilton at Emilia Romagna GP despite radio rant

George Russell and Lewis Hamilton swapped places during the Emilia Romagna GP with the former crossing the chequered flag in P7.

WATCH: George Russell insists he’s not “sulking over” lost position to Lewis Hamilton at Emilia Romagna GP despite radio rant

George Russell(L), Russell(in circle) and Lewis Hamilton(R), via IMAGO

Mercedes have not had a great start to the 2024 season so far. The Silver Arrows’ highlight this year has been a P5 finish at the Bahrain GP, and the team has been trying to recover ever since. Moreover, when the team rolled up to the Emilia Romagna GP, they had high expectations, but they were indulged in an intra-team battle between George Russell and Lewis Hamilton. However, the former claimed that he did not care much about losing a position to his world champion teammate in the race.

George Russell joined Mercedes in 2022 after the peak of the Red Bull-Mercedes title fight in 2021. The Brit had huge hopes of competing for the world championship and wins but was taken aback by the slow pace of the W12. As the years passed, the 26-year-old accepted the reality that he would be fighting for spots in the midfield as a glimpse of it was witnessed after the race at Imola.

George Russell insisted that he would not sulk over losing P6 to Lewis Hamilton, after being ahead for most of the race. Russell admitted that the team was unhappy with a P6 and P7 finish. But on the upside, the team scored an extra point by putting him on a two-stopper strategy, and losing sixth place to his teammate did not carry much value for him.

We are not going to be happy with a P6 and a P7. As a team we scored one extra point. I lost my position to Lewis[Hamilton], but I m not going to sulk over losing a P6 to be honest. So, this is where we are right now, little bit in a no man's land, behind the Ferraris and [the] McLarens, ahead of the midfield.
George Russell said in an interview with SkySports

Why did George Russell make a second pitstop at Emilia Romagna GP?

The Englishman was the only driver in the Top 10 to have pitted for a second time during the race. Further, Pirelli had predicted the one-stopper to be the fastest, but Russell’s two-stop generated curiosity regarding why the young gun was pitted so late into the race, and Toto Wolff later clarified why the decision was taken.

George Russell
George Russell (via IMAGO)

The Austrian seemed adamant that the two-stop strategy was the best alternative for Russell. The 52-year-old elaborated that the 26-year-old was on a much higher degradation than the team had initially anticipated. Also, they had the chance to get out in front of Sergio Perez after his brief exploration of the gravel in Imola and so they opted for it, which earned them the fastest lap and an extra point.

With George’s second stop, our wear forecasts showed that he may struggle to make it last to the end of the race on the hard tire. We had the opportunity to pit and get out ahead of Perez, and therefore opted to stop him.
Toto Wolff said, as reported by PlanetF1

Despite Wolff’s attempt to calm the atmosphere around the team down, both drivers seem to have ruled out the 2024 season as theirs. Thus, the team appears to have entered a damage limitation mode and would utilize their resources to build the next year’s car.

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