George Russell labels his Suzuka tussle with Lewis Hamilton as ‘just hard racing’
George Russell was only able to manage a disappointing P7 finish at the 2023 Japanese GP.
Lewis Hamilton and George Russell (Via IMAGO)
The 2023 Japanese Grand Prix weekend was, at best, an average one for the Mercedes F1 team. The outfit lacked the pace to challenge for the win, and in the end, George Russell and Lewis Hamilton were left fighting each other for track positions. The former feels their tussle at the Suzuka International Race Course was nothing more than ‘just hard racing.’
During the 53-lap dash at the Japanese GP, George Russell and Lewis Hamilton were seen throwing their elbows out quite a few times while fighting for track positions. The duo was at each other’s throats for quite most of the race, and while a lot has been said about it by the pundits, Russell believes there was nothing wrong about his and his teammate’s tussle.
While shedding light on the same in detail after the Japanese GP, he told Silverarrows.net, “I viewed it as good hard racing. Thankfully we were in a position to put him [Hamilton] under pressure and making the moves on him. I was happy with them, so I’ll take the positives from that. The pace of the car my side I thought was quite strong considering how difficult the tyres were to drive this weekend.“
He added, “It’s just hard, fair racing. Of course, we lost a bit of overall time fighting one another, and again, you get a bit frustrated on the radio, but it’s something that’s a part of racing. Both of us lost time to the cars around us. We aren’t going to give up the position easily to one another, it was still early on in the race, and I had more pace, but he was the car who was ahead.”
George Russell has had an up-and-down 2023 F1 season
While George Russell has deemed his Suzuka tussle with his teammate as hard racing, the young Brit has had a pretty up-and-down 2023 F1 season. He has suffered with several issues throughout the campaign and has been unable to keep pace with his in-form teammate, Lewis Hamilton. The former 7-time world champion has been in sparkling form.
As things stand, Hamilton is currently third in the Drivers Championship and has blazed his way to 190 points, whereas Russell, on the other hand, has managed to crawl his way to just 115 in the same number of Formula 1 outings. Moreover, the latter has also only managed one podium finish in comparison to his teammate’s five.
With Japan out of the way, only six races are remaining in the 2023 F1 season, and from George Russell’s point of view, it is going to be crucial that he manages to end his campaign on a strong note. He has all the skills in his arsenal to do it, and from Qatar onwards, it will all be about executing everything to perfection.
In case you missed it:
- Alpine explains the controversial decision to swap Pierre Gasly and Esteban Ocon’s positions on the final lap of the Japanese GP
- Damon Hill warns Lewis Hamilton about EMBARRASSING himself by dragging Mercedes ‘in the wrong direction’ over the W15 design