Mercedes warned to ‘intervene now’ after Lewis Hamilton and George Russell crash

Michelle Foster
Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton loses a wheel in lap 1 crash..

Lewis Hamilton crashed into George Russell in Qatar.

With tension, at least on the track, seemingly mounting between the Mercedes team-mates, Ralf Schumacher has urged the Brackley squad to “intervene now”.

After a bit of argy-bargy at the Japanese Grand Prix, a race in which both Hamilton and Russell took to the radio to state their cases to the team, the two collided at the start of Sunday’s Qatar Grand Prix.

Lining up second and third on the grid behind Max Verstappen, Hamilton made the better start on the soft tyres and tried to pass Russell around the outside at the same time that the 25-year-old tried to draw alongside Verstappen.

Crash had ‘big consequences’ for Mercedes

But as Hamilton turned in for the corner, the seven-time World Champion crashed into his team-mate with his race over. The Briton told Mercedes that he had been “taken out by my team-mate”.

Russell, who suffered a puncture and had to pit for new tyres and a front wing, fumed “two races in a row”.

Ralf Schumacher says Mercedes need to get control of their drivers before the situation deteriorates.

“Lewis gives in too early, simply doesn’t give George enough space,” he told Sky Deutschland. “The Mercedes were strong, they threw away good points.

“There’s a bit of work to be done between the two now. You can deal with each other either way, the team has to intervene now.”

However, his compatriot and fellow former F1 driver Nico Rosberg believes the collision was nothing more than misjudgment from Hamilton’s side.

“There’s not that much to discuss,” said the 2016 World Champion. “It’s relatively one-sided.

“Lewis tried it on the outside because he had the soft tyres. He was very fast, had a lot of grip. But then he misjudged something, he pulled in a little too early.

“The mistake wasn’t a big one, but it had big consequences. Of course, something like that shouldn’t happen.”

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Do Mercedes need to impose rules of engagement?

Hamilton was quick to hold up his hand and admitted he made a mistake, the Briton taking to social media to say: “It was 100% my fault and I take full responsibility. Apologies to my team and to George.”

But given that this is not the first time the Mercedes team-mates have had a moment, Hamilton was later asked if the team needs to impose rules of engagement.

He told The Race: “I don’t know, that’s not my decision.”

He also denied that Sunday’s incident could hurt his relationship with his team-mate.

“The relationship isn’t broken,” he insisted. “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 in the moment like I was.

“But we’ll talk about it offline and we move forward. As I said, just apologies to all of the team.”

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