‘More respect’ shown to Lewis Hamilton over George Russell at Mercedes – F1 news round-up

Thomas Maher
Mercedes' George Russell and Aston Martin's new WEC Hypercar Valkyrie

Mercedes' George Russell and Aston Martin's new WEC Hypercar Valkyrie

With the Qatar Grand Prix rapidly hoving into view, catch up on all the latest F1 news ahead of the weekend.

With the F1 world decamping to Lusail for this weekend’s Qatar Grand Prix, just six races remain in this year’s championship – but what a deluge of action we can expect between now and Abu Dhabi!

Ahead of this weekend’s Qatar Grand Prix, catch up on all the latest F1 news from Wednesday!

George Russell opens up on relationship with Toto Wolff

Russell believes that his relationship with Toto Wolff is a little different from the dynamic Lewis Hamilton has with Wolff – something that made a particular difference when he first stepped into the Mercedes team.

Opening up on how he felt Lewis Hamilton perhaps commanded ‘more respect’ when he first arrived over 10 years ago, Russell said his own signing as a youngster has resulted in a very different leadership approach from Wolff.

“I think, obviously, when Lewis and Toto were acquainted, Lewis was already World Champion, he was already this megastar,” he said.

“There was perhaps really more respect [from] Toto to Lewis when he joined because Toto was completely new to Formula 1 at that time, Toto was the rookie and Lewis was the household massive name.

“Whereas with myself, Toto signed to me as a 16-year-old. They’ve always, I guess, nurtured me along my way, advised me, helped me reach my full potential and I guess, yeah, to a degree, you could be right but I think our relationship now has gone more from, I’m not going to say paternal figure, but I’d class ourselves as more friends now.

“And also with Susie [Wolff] and Carmen [Montero Mundt] my girlfriend, we’ve got a really great relationship.

“We spend a lot of time together, doing activities together, dinner together, we see them all the time. So, you know, he’s my boss, but he’s also a friend.

Read more – George Russell on why Toto Wolff had ‘more respect’ for Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes

Aston Martin confirms entry into Le Mans 24 Hours

Aside from racing in Formula 1, Aston Martin will race in every category of the World Endurance Championship soon – the British manufacturer has outlined plans to enter the Hypercar category with its Valkyrie prototype.

Also outlining a new GT3 and GT4 platform, Lawrence Stroll’s brave new venture will see Aston Martin race in the Le Mans 24 Hours in WEC, as well as in IMSA’s leading races, the Rolex 24 at Daytona and the 12 Hours of Sebring.

Read more – Aston Martin break new ground with huge Le Mans 24 Hours announcement

The Winners and losers from the FIA’s Andretti confirmation

Following on from Tuesday’s announcement from the FIA that Andretti Global are the only prospective F1 team to have made it through their vetting process, there are some big winners and losers should the team make it onto the grid.

Our own Sam Cooper has analysed the situation, and weighed up who stands to benefit from Andretti Global joining the grid – and who might be shaking their fist in the general direction of Michael Andretti…

Read more – The Potential Winners and losers after FIA accepts Andretti’s 11th team bid

Sergio Perez vows to bounce back in Qatar

After a disastrous weekend in Japan on his side of the garage, Sergio Perez is eager to prove himself as an equal contributor to Red Bull’s championship victory.

Picking up more penalty points than championship points at Suzuka, Perez had to watch on as Max Verstappen single-handedly secured the title for the Milton Keynes-based squad – something he’s hoping to rectify this weekend.

“Qatar is a chance to get back to racing for me with two opportunities to win across the weekend,” Perez said after his poor weekend in Suzuka.

“The Sprint format always throws up challenges when it comes to setting the car up, so we will work hard together to ensure we are ready for qualifying on Friday night.

“The track there can be tricky, as we learned in 2021, the grip is affected by the sand on the surface, so you must be alert. A night race is always fun though and this might be the hottest event we have all season, so it will involve a lot of management across all three days to get the most out of the car.

“We are coming into this race as World Champions, and for me personally, I would like to show that out on track.”

Read more – Sergio Perez vows ‘World Champion’ performance after disastrous Suzuka outing