Mercedes’ simulator driver Anthony Davidson says “there’s definitely a hierarchy” at Mercedes, and “rightly so”, because “Lewis has earned that status in that team”.
One of the biggest stories coming out of the Japanese Grand Prix has been the on-track battle between Lewis Hamilton and George Russell, Russell’s subsequent radio messages, and ultimately Mercedes’ use of team orders to make George let a much faster Lewis through.
Mercedes’ simulator driver Anthony Davidson says George is definitely aware that there is a hierarchy in the team.
“There’s definitely a hierarchy in that team,” the Briton said on the Sky Sports F1 Podcast.
“And rightly so. You know, Lewis has earned that status in that team as a seven-time world champion, and George can’t argue against that.
“George is still the understudy, and he’s doing a very good job on those occasions where he’s got the speed over Lewis to really take the fight to him.
“But he’s doing it in such a George Russell polite way, which is quite humorous to watch, because I know inside the car, he’ll be fuming and steaming.
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“And that’s why we see the near misses, the drivers coming, almost to blows, almost to contact, but then he’s a good boy on the radio, he’s very British about it.
“And there are layers to him, to the annoyance, I think. It always comes over as: ‘I’m okay with this, but if you could please, very thankfully, let me through with the next couple of opportunities, it’d be much appreciated.’
“And we’d hear maybe a bit more vocal if things were different. But I think for now, I think he knows where he is in the team.”
Davidson added he is very much intrigued by current intra-team dynamics at Mercedes.
“He [Russell] knows he’s got the speed. We all see it as well from the outside. Lewis is getting his elbows out when he needs to.
“I’m really intrigued by this battle and watching George develop as a driver and watching Lewis in his latter years in his career.
“Watching this young, hard-charging driver in George, really threatening him for speed and consistency, and it’s great to watch Lewis getting stuck in as well,” he concluded.