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Mercedes

Mercedes: 2016 scars vital in dealing with Hamilton-Russell scuffles

Could tensions boil over between the pair after their contact at the start of the Qatar Grand Prix?

Hamilton Qatar
Article
To news overview © XPBimages

Mercedes has addressed the possibility of tensions boiling over between Lewis Hamilton and George Russell following their collision at the Qatar Grand Prix.

While Hamilton claimed full responsibility for the collision at Turn 1 on the opening lap, it was the second time this season they have came to blows.

During qualifying for the Spanish GP they collided, while the pair also had a dispute during the race at Suzuka over strategy which nearly led to Carlos Sainz finishing ahead of them.

The team has previously had to manage growing tensions between drivers before, when both Hamilton and Nico Rosberg battled for championships at the start of the hybrid era.

Motorsport Communications Director Bradley Lord, who was in place of Team Principal Toto Wolff at the most recent Grands Prix while he recovered from an operation, believes this experience will help them manage any problems between Russell and Hamilton.

"If we found ourselves in a position where we're in contention for race wins and for championships, then that's one of the privileges which comes with that; managing the competitive dynamic between drivers," Lord told media, including RacingNews365.

"We've been there before and ultimately, we will have the goal - as paradoxical as it might sound in this context - to be in that situation again, and have those challenges in front of us."

Lord: Both of them are aware of their responsibilities

The W14 has proven to be as problematic for the team as its predecessor, as Mercedes fight to secure second in the Constructors' Championship from Ferrari.

Lord feels having drivers closely battling each other on track is worth the trade off, considering its current position with the tricky W14.

"Both of them are very aware of their responsibilities and they want to do the best for the team by giving everything every second of every moment they're out on track," explained Lord.

"It's [W14] not an easy thing to handle and drive from session to session, even without a setup change you can find its handling very differently.

"We're very, very lucky to enjoy two drivers who have such high end, consistent ability."

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RESULTS 2024 F1 Spanish Grand Prix - Qualifying