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George Russell

Russell: There's no reason why I would fall out with Hamilton

The Williams driver is "sure" he will be able to race Lewis Hamilton respectfully and cleanly when they become teammates at Mercedes next year.

Article
To news overview © Mercedes

George Russell says "there's no reason why there would be any falling outs" next year when he joins Mercedes to become Lewis Hamilton's teammate.

Russell will replace Valtteri Bottas – who will move to Alfa Romeo in 2022 – on a long-term deal and expects to have a constructive relationship with Hamilton.

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff is "confident" that Hamilton and Russell's relationship will grow, forming a strong team that can deliver on and off the track.

"Throughout my junior careers there were a number of drivers who I was very close with on pace and very often very close with on track," Russell told RacingNews365.com and other select members of the press.

"There's no reason why there would be any falling outs or anything. I'm sure we're going to race each other respectfully, but hard as well at the same time, as Lewis and Valtteri have over the past five years.

"Lewis and I have got a really great relationship. We're at different stages of our careers and we have got one goal next year which is to develop the car and push it forward and make sure that we, as two drivers, give ourselves the best chance of having the fastest race car.

"The only way we're going to do that is by working together to develop that."

Russell confirmed he knew about his future in F1 in the build-up to the Belgian Grand Prix in August. He says because Mercedes manage him and know him "inside-out", negotiations were "simple".

"It was basically just down to the guys at Mercedes to decide whether I was the direction they wanted to go in, or the stability of Valtteri, which has obviously been incredibly successful over the past few years," said Russell.

"Negotiations were very straightforward and simple, to be honest. It was very quick from when the decision was made, to getting the contract signed.

"That was also great and [we can] almost put it behind us now, so we can focus on the rest of this season before casting our focus onto 2022."

It's time for the latest episode of our new Formula 1 podcast, with F1 journalists Dieter Rencken, Thomas Maher and Mike Seymour discussing the fallout from a dramatic Italian Grand Prix weekend.

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