George Russell explains his ‘Are we racing?’ radio call

© LAT Images for Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Ltd

George Russell explains why he asked Mercedes if he and Lewis Hamilton would be racing each other in the final 10 laps of the Sao Paulo Grand Prix.

During the final safety car period at the Sao Paulo Grand Prix, George Russell asked Mercedes if he and Lewis Hamilton would be racing each other when the race restarts.

“So, what are we doing? Are we racing or securing a one-two?” George asked.

His race engineer Riccardo Musconi replied: “You are racing, just be respectful.”

In the end George managed to win the race, and afterwards he was asked if he was surprised that the team allowed them to race.

“Yes, and no, because we’ve always said that we’re free to race,” Russell explained.

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“Toto [Wolff, Mercedes team boss] and the team have put a lot of faith and trust in Lewis and I, and we’ve obviously had a few side-by-side moments throughout this year and has always been respectful and I think we’ve got a huge amount of respect for one another.

“I think I just wanted to understand the position, because if we weren’t… I knew how important that one-two was for the team. So if we weren’t racing, it was kind of like, ‘bring the car home’.

“If we were racing, it was a quali lap every single lap and you’re risking every corner. Because the laps just had to be perfect.

“So yeah, obviously happy to have won it that way,” Russell concluded.

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