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George Russell

Russell: 'No hard feelings' with Hamilton about who is ahead

George Russell claimed his first podium with Mercedes at the Australian Grand Prix, and finished ahead of teammate Lewis Hamilton in the process. The former Williams driver insists that the pecking order in the team is not an issue, though.

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George Russell says that there are "no hard feelings" from himself or teammate Lewis Hamilton in regards to who finishes ahead on track.

Hamilton claimed his first podium of the 2022 campaign at the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix, whilst Russell ended the race just behind in fourth.

However, in the subsequent two Grands Prix in Saudi Arabia and Australia, it has been Russell who has scored the most points for Mercedes.

The Briton claimed P5 in Jeddah, with Hamilton back in P10 following a difficult qualifying session. Russell then took his debut podium with the Silver Arrows in Melbourne, while Hamilton ended the event in fourth.

These results have put Russell in second place in the Drivers' Championship standings, where Hamilton currently holds fifth.

Mercedes drivers "not concerned" about who is in front

With Mercedes still working to get back to their previous level of performance, Russell admits that the drivers are more focused on this right now than on which one of them gets the highest result.

"I think these things, in the scheme of things, don't mean a lot really," Russell told media, including RacingNews365.com, when asked whether it was a confidence boost to beat Hamilton in two of the opening three races in 2022.

"Obviously, everybody wants to finish ahead of their teammate, but Lewis and I have no interest in battling it out for P5, P6. We want to work together to claw that gap back.

"So there's no hard feelings if he's ahead of me, there's no hard feelings if I'm ahead of him, and we're not too concerned about that at the moment."

Russell's attitude to teammate battle has changed

Russell says that his current scenario with Hamilton at Mercedes is different to how he approached the teammate battle during his three years at Williams.

Given that the Grove-based squad struggled near the back of the field during most of Russell's stint with them, he acknowledges that finishing ahead of the outfit's other driver was more of an incentive.

"It's quite a strange feeling for me to be honest, because we have such high expectations from all of us [at Mercedes]," Russell explained.

"Whereas previously, in my first couple of years [in F1], that [teammate battle] was everything because we weren't really fighting for points, we weren't fighting for much.

"That was the only satisfaction you could get, your results based on your teammate. But here we have a bigger picture, and the long game we need to play is to catch these guys up because we're here to win."

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