At the Japanese and Qatar grands prix, there have been some close on-track encounters between Lewis Hamilton and George Russell.
Unfortunately the encounter in Qatar ended in a collision, with Lewis out of the race and George at the back of the field.
Lewis’ former Mercedes team-mate and title rival Nico Rosberg provides an analysis of George’s situation driving alongside a seven-time world champion who has been with the team for almost 11 years.
“Things have been heating up there because also in Suzuka it was well over the limit on one occasions when they both took each other off the track,” Rosberg said of Sky Sports F1’s podcast.
“It’s a very difficult situation for George as well. Unfortunately, you can’t just be the nice guy in that situation – you have to also internally keep the pressure on.
“You have to make it difficult for the team, unfortunately. It sucks, but otherwise the team will always just take the easiest route.
“So it’s very uncomfortable because George needs to be pushing – which he does on the radio, you hear him saying things like ‘again’ and things like that. So he’s really trying to hold against it.”
If you like SilverArrows.Net, consider supporting us by buying us a coffee!
Lewis ultimately said he was “100%” to blame for the collision, and Nico says it is a good thing for George.
“It was a good one in Qatar for George because Lewis actually admitted [he was to blame].
“So that was a big win for George in that sense, also internally, which is very rare because in my time Lewis never had 100 per cent fault, so he never actually had to admit in that way.
“So it’s very, very rare for Lewis to be at 100 per cent fault at that, it usually never happens.
“It’s to be watched. It’s an interesting battle and dynamic opening out there.”
The German added team boss Toto Wolff’s absence from Qatar was unfortunate under the circumstances.
“That would not have been ideal because Toto is the only person there who can manage that – the only person who has the authority and respect to be able to handle that, and he’s the right guy to handle that.
“No one else can force them to sit down and have a discussion. I think it will be very good for Toto to be back at the racetrack.”
Nico then speculated that Toto could have met with both drivers after the race, since all three of them live in Monaco.
Rosberg also speculated that Wolff, who lives in Monaco along with both of the British drivers, may have taken advantage of the trio’s proximity to each other to bring them together following the Qatar GP.
“What Toto can do, maybe when they are back in Monaco on the Monday after Qatar, maybe he would have sat down with both or go and visit Lewis’ apartment and sit down with George individually first. Then ideally you also sit them together.
“He’s had so much experience with managing team-mates, so he knows what needs to be done. The most important thing for him is to be neutral, which is advice Alain Prost gave him during my time.
“He said: ‘Toto, the most important thing is never take a side between drivers, stay neutral because once you take a side it spirals out of control,’
“So I’m sure Toto will have learned a lot and I’m sure he will be managing that well,” Rosberg concluded.