George Russell addresses Lewis Hamilton’s professionalism since Ferrari announcement

Jamie Woodhouse
George Russell and Lewis Hamilton.

Mercedes drivers George Russell and Lewis Hamilton.

George Russell praised Lewis Hamilton’s “professionalism” as he explained how Mercedes are approaching upgrades and opportunities knowing that Hamilton is heading for Ferrari.

F1 2024 marks Hamilton’s final season in Mercedes colours, the seven-time World Champion having confirmed ahead of the season that he will become a Ferrari driver as of 2025.

‘Equal opportunities’ at Mercedes for George Russell and Lewis Hamilton

That shock announcement created plenty of question marks over how Mercedes would go about their relationship with Hamilton for this final year, considering that rivals Ferrari are his destination.

And a rather poor start to F1 2024 for Hamilton – who lost out to Russell in qualifying and race trim in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia – heightened the scrutiny, 13-time Grand Prix winner David Coulthard suggesting Hamilton “mentally” was already at Ferrari.

Russell though insisted that Hamilton continues to be “incredibly professional” and there has been no change in the working relationship between team and driver.

“I think since Lewis’ news, I think Lewis has been incredibly professional with the team and the working relationship with everybody within Mercedes is like nothing has changed whatsoever,” Russell told media ahead of the Australian Grand Prix.

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And that includes with how Mercedes treat their drivers. Rather than the team getting behind Russell as their racer for the future, he stressed it is a case of “equal opportunities” for himself and Hamilton, which will also stand when it comes to receiving upgrades for the W15 challenger as they come.

“And the team have been so great,” Russell continued. “They’ve given us both equal opportunities. It’s always been that from the outset.

“And whenever upgrades are bringing [sic] to the car, it’s going to both of us at the same time, whereas other teams they go one before the other.”

Russell confirmed that this will also remain the case beyond this season when he goes up against his new Mercedes team-mate, the likes of Fernando Alonso, Carlos Sainz, Alex Albon, Esteban Ocon and Kimi Antonelli all linked with the upcoming vacancy.

“And that’s always the way at Mercedes,” said Russell. “They want to give both drivers the best chance of achieving the best results and then going into next year, no matter who my team-mate is going to be, that will still continue to be the same.”

Russell’s contract with Mercedes runs until the end of the 2025 campaign.

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