Russell: ‘I would never hurt my relationship with my team-mate’

© Steve Etherington for Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Ltd.

Lewis Hamilton’s possible 2022 team-mate George Russell says he would never put his “own goals above the team no matter who my team-mate is”.

George Russell, along with Valtteri Bottas, is a candidate for Mercedes’ second 2022 seat, which means he could drive alongside seven-time Formula 1 champion Lewis Hamilton.

After the Hungarian Grand Prix Russell said he is first and foremost a team player.

“My ambitions and goals are incredibly clear and I want to become the F1 World Champion,” the Briton said.

“But I would never put my own agenda or my own goals above the team no matter who my team-mate is.

“That’s the same here at Williams now. I would never do anything to hurt my relationship with my team-mate. And I recognise that to be able to achieve your own goals, you need the team to be operating on all cylinders.

“That team spirit and dynamic needs to be at the top of its game just to be able to achieve the team’s objectives.

“If the team achieves, then as a driver you have a shot. But I never put my own agenda or goals above the team’s.”

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And as proof that those might not be just words, at the Hungarian Grand Prix Russell went on the radio and asked the team to prioritise his team-mate Nicholas Latifi, so that the team could score maximum points.

“It was sort of an undercut race in Hungary, so I knew Nicholas was in third and I knew if he came home with a P3 or P4, those 15 or 12 points would be absolutely enough to seal P8 in the Championship,” Russell explained.

“I’ve always said it, I will put the team’s agenda above mine because ultimately I’m a team player and I want us as a team to score as many points as possible.

“Nicholas made a fantastic start. He’s making huge progress and it may not seem it on the face of it, but he’s really been pushing me and just as a team we deserved to come away with those points.

“I would happily have stayed out longer to stop the guys ahead from undercutting or ‘boxed’ straight away to do the undercut and let Nicholas go long, if that would have meant at least one of us scored big,” concluded the Briton.

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