Russell speaks out after Hamilton controversy. During the Dutch Grand Prix, Lewis Hamilton’s fans became very angry when George Russell had appeared to have taken the place of his fellow team mate in the pit lane, preventing him from changing his tyres while the safety car was on track. Accused of selfishness, Russell condemned the insults he received from the attacking Hamilton fans, and explained the confusion surrounding his controversial stop.
The Mercedes team faced a compromising situation last weekend at the Formula 1 Dutch Grand Prix. Lewis Hamilton was at the front of the field for a while and perhaps had a chance of battling Max Verstappen for the win. But a strategic error cost him precious places and possibly his first win of the season.
It was a misunderstanding within the team when George Russell returned to the pits, thinking that Lewis Hamilton was going to do the same. Hamilton remained on the track and expressed his anger on his radio. Since then, his team-mate has been the victim of a wave of insults on social networks.
In the eye of the storm of Lewis Hamilton’s most fervent and vociferous supporters, George Russell explained:
“Personally, I thought we were both going to pit. I came in just behind Nicholas [Latifi], and I told him to hurry up because I was afraid of being overtaken by [Charles] Leclerc who was a bit further back. But then I opened up a little bit of a gap to Lewis, so I was a bit surprised that he didn’t pit,
“But I knew afterwards that there just wasn’t enough time to get everything ready, and that’s why he didn’t stop,” said the Mercedes driver.
The target of attacks on social networks, George Russell can’t take it anymore:
“It’s really horrible to see this continue week after week, based on the latest news. There’s too much of it, and I don’t think we can do anything about it as an organisation,
“We have to go beyond that, to the people who run the social networking channels, the governments. There’s so much out there, and we’re all doing what we can to get these accounts reported,” Russell lamented.
Russell was very touched by the insults and continued:
“As a team, we work with an organisation to try and limit this, and we do. But at the end of the day, it doesn’t stop the person behind the computer from sending that tweet or post or whatever,
“The message is: if you’re going to post something, think twice. Are you going to add something positive or negative? If it’s negative, don’t do it. It’s a great shame to see that.”