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Mercedes find positive in Hamilton-Russell 'tension'

Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton and George Russell came together on the opening lap of the Qatar Grand Prix last weekend.

Russell Hamilton Qatar
To news overview © XPBimages

Mercedes has highlighted a positive aspect of the “competitive tension” between drivers Lewis Hamilton and George Russell.

The duo came together on the opening lap of the Qatar Grand Prix as Hamilton attempted to overtake Russell and Max Verstappen around the outside of the first corner, equipped with a softer set of tyres.

Hamilton was sent spinning into the gravel and out of the race, while Russell was demoted to the rear of the field before recovering to fourth place.

The seven-time champion accepted the blame for the collision through he was spared a penalty for the next race after an investigation by the race stewards.

'Competitve tension' good for Mercedes

Although both drivers have asserted there is no bad blood between them, it was the second race in succession where tension became apparent after a disagreement over team orders in Japan.

The crash in Qatar was labelled by some as the biggest collision between two Mercedes drivers since 2016, when Hamilton and ex-team-mate Nico Rosberg came together on multiple occasions.

But speaking to media including RacingNews365.com, Motorsport Communications Director Bradley Lord, who carried out part of Team Principal Toto Wolff's duties in Qatar, has said that both drivers are pushing the team forward.

“I think experiences like 2016 and others that we've had over the years, there's a great shared experience of how we approach those moments as a team and sort of learn from them and work through them as well,” he said.

“So we have our racing intent, our shared document that we all buy into in terms of how we approach races as a team, how we're going to try and maximise the team’s point-scoring.

“The drivers are bought into that along with everybody else. That’s really the basis for how we talk about things and move forward.

“There's competitive tension between the two drivers but that is exactly what we want in the team to drive us forward.

“Their collaboration and actually how in sync they have been in developing the car and explaining the car’s limitations so that we can overcome them with development this year and then you know, the project for next year as well.”

F1 2023 Qatar Grand Prix RN365 News dossier


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