Lewis Hamilton delivers George Russell relationship update after Qatar crash

Thomas Maher
Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton and George Russell on the podium at the Spanish Grand Prix.

Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton and George Russell on the podium at the Spanish Grand Prix.

Lewis Hamilton says he and George Russell will discuss their Qatar GP clash ‘offline’ and spoke about their relationship.

The two Mercedes drivers came to blows in Qatar, with Hamilton and Russell colliding on the first lap of the Grand Prix as the seven-time World Champion tried an audacious move around the outside of his teammate.

The incident came a fortnight after the pair had a hard battle in Japan with Hamilton pushing Russell wide at Spoon corner as they squabbled – a move that Russell wasn’t impressed by.

Lewis Hamilton ‘happy to take responsibility’ for Qatar clash

While Hamilton initially pointed the finger of blame at Russell immediately after the collision at Lusail, he had calmed down and reflected on their contretemps by the time he spoke to the media afterwards to hold his hand up and accept responsibility.

With both Hamilton and Russell signed up with Mercedes for the next two years, taking their partnership to at least four years in total, the preference of the drivers is clearly for peace – and Hamilton made it clear that the relationship, from his side, remains good.


“I think we are a great team. George and I still have a great relationship. We will discuss things and work away,” Hamilton told Sky Italy.

“I’m happy to take responsibility as the older guy. I don’t think George had anywhere to go at that point.

“I was trying to get ahead of both of them and just an unfortunate situation. I had the worst tyre of everyone around me, so I needed to try and get ahead. Big risk, big penalty.

“The relationship isn’t broken. I don’t have any problems with George, we have a great relationship, we work and we always talk about things.

“So this is definitely unfortunate and I’m sure he was frustrated at the moment like I was. But we will talk about it offline, and we move forward. As I said, just apologies to all of the team.”

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Bradley Lord praises Lewis Hamilton’s ‘strength of character’

In Toto Wolff’s absence, Mercedes team communications chief Bradley Lord praised Hamilton for his candour and maturity in accepting his error of judgment.

“I don’t think it’s my job to sit here and put responsibility on one side or the other,” he told media.

“The drivers know far better than me how they conduct themselves on track.

“What I would say is that Lewis doing that and being able to have the strength of character to come out and speak as he has done shows that Champions aren’t just made in the winning moments, but also in the most difficult ones. It speaks volumes to his strength of character that he is able to do that.”

1996 F1 World Champion Damon Hill said the situation could have been planned out better by Mercedes, but believed Hamilton only had himself to blame for the incident.

“Lewis was on the softer tyre and had a great start,” he said.

“Maybe he was a bit impatient to get past. George was in a position where three into two doesn’t go. He had nowhere to go and Lewis was going around the outside.

“I think it was perhaps a bit of a misunderstanding with their strategy. Perhaps on reflection, Mercedes will go ‘Maybe we should have got George to let Lewis go if he saw him coming up with a good start.’ He shouldn’t be too harsh on himself but it’s uncharacteristic from Lewis.”

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