George Russell has ruled out the possibility of Mercedes using team orders in the Brazilian Grand Prix, though admits that he and Lewis Hamilton will be "strategic" in their approach to racing each other. The Silver Arrows duo will share the front row of the grid for the first time in the 2022 F1 season after Russell clinched victory in Saturday's Sprint race, while Hamilton finished third but is promoted to P2 following a penalty for second-placed Carlos Sainz. With the team yet to claim a win during the campaign, taking P1 would prove special for both drivers; Russell is looking for his debut win in Formula 1, while Hamilton could record his first ever season without a victory should he not win a Grand Prix before the end of the year. Russell expects that he and Hamilton will be free to race, but acknowledges that they will put the team first.
Russell: Hamilton and I will be strategic to try to win
"There definitely won't be any team orders," Russell told media after Saturday's Sprint. "But I think between the two of us, we will definitely be strategic to try and get that win for the team. "I think, as we saw in Mexico, that we both did the same strategy and ultimately it affected us both. Sitting here right now, we probably don't know what the right strategy is going to be. "So we'll race each other fairly, for sure, and I'm sure we'll probably be splitting the strategies tomorrow to try and cover all options. "Hopefully one of us comes away happy tomorrow, but I think we both recognise, based on recent experience, we're probably going to have to go two separate ways."
Hamilton: I'll be happy with a 1-2 either way
Hamilton agrees that he and Russell will ensure the team remain the focus, and the seven-time World Champion hopes that – whichever order they finish in – they can secure a 1-2 result. "I think I'll just say that getting a 1-2 either way, I'm going to be happy personally, just because of how hard everybody's worked," Hamilton explained. "But of course, George has done an amazing job this year, and he'll be pushing for that win. We'll, of course, drive carefully and clean. "We’ve just always got to just have at the core of it, at the front of our mind, it's the team. Getting the result for the team. "But of course, individually, we'll do our best to try and get the best result."