Mercedes' drivers Nico Rosberg, Lewis Hamilton, and George Russell

3 differences between Lewis Hamilton’s pairing with George Russell and with Nico Rosberg

Lewis Hamilton and George Russell have been racing together since 2021. The 2022 Dutch GP left fans with many questions, especially regarding the Mercedes F1 team, who seem to have turned the priority list around with their drivers.

Russell has consistently outperformed his 37-year-old teammate this season, and fans worry this will create a long-term impact for Hamilton.

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The young Briton replaced Valtteri Bottas, who played a loyal second fiddle to Hamilton most of the time and failed to match up to the 37-year-old's pace in the same machinery. Before him, there was Nico Rosberg, who gave F1 the rivalry of a lifetime.

Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg have known each other since childhood, entering F1 and finally becoming teammates in 2013. They celebrated each other's wins and were quite literally best friends. Unfortunately, the competitive edge of becoming a world champion sunk this friendship forever.

However, we believe that the same won't happen to Russell and Hamilton's rapport.


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#1 A big generational gap between George Russell and Lewis Hamilton

Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg are the same age, barely five months apart. However, the Knight and Russell have a hefty age gap of 13 years, separating their likes and dislikes majorly.

Russell will surely look forward to this relationship as a learning curve, taking in the most from his seven-time world champion teammate. It seems to be working, with him pulling off a very Hamilton-like, self-made team call during the Dutch GP.

Wait 1m #USGP RT @TitanicOnThings: Rosberg & Hamilton's crash in Catalunya is so much better with the titanic music

Rosberg and Hamilton, however, shared a completely different rapport. They carved out a career in F1 together and had a lot to prove to make it to the summit. Their fights looked personal, to the point where Hamilton defied team orders to not let Rosberg through at the 2016 Abu Dhabi GP, despite knowing that he had potentially already lost the championship.

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The same is most definitely not going to prove true for Russell-Hamilton. While Russell will take his chances to stay ahead of his partner, he is unlikely to engage in a vicious battle out of pure respect for his teammate. Speaking about meeting the seven-time world champion for the first time, he said:

"It was like meeting a superhero. When you're a child at that age and you meet an F1 driver, you don't think those people are human. That was a really special moment for me. I even remember it now, which is quite odd to remember a memory from when you were 11 years old."

It is hard to believe that someone who idolizes Hamilton would fight him aggressively. The 24-year-old remains largely aware of Lewis' formidable presence at Mercedes and is only eager to learn more from him.


#2 Nico and Hamilton shared a unique bond unlike Russell and Hamilton

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The F1 community widely hailed Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg's friendship as the biggest factor in their relationship's breakdown. During the 2014 Monaco GP, when Rosberg parked his Mercedes conveniently to not let Hamilton complete his flying lap, the seven-time champion felt cheated more likely as a friend than a teammate.

F1 Grand Prix of Abu Dhabi

As friends, people do expect things from each other, and so did the two, which caused them both to become disappointed. That disappointment increased with time, as Mercedes provided them with championship-winning cars year after year.

However, George Russell and Lewis Hamilton were never friends and are likely to maintain a professional understanding. Further, Hamilton has now come a long way after fighting with the likes of Fernando Alonso, Rosberg, Sebastian Vettel, and recently, Max Verstappen.

The 2022 Dutch GP also saw an intriguing moment between Russell and Hamilton. The 37-year-old, who looked set to win the race, was overtaken by Russell and Charles Leclerc during the concluding laps.

The driver was extremely furious after realizing a major strategic team blunder allowed Russell his overtake. As a result, he had a furious outburst on the team radio. However, the difference was that Hamilton soon realized his mistake and apologized to the team. He said:

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"I was just on the edge of breaking point with emotions. My apologies to the team because I don't even remember what I said. I just lost it for a second. But I think they know that it's just so much passion."

The Mercedes driver was mature enough to understand and accept the situation. Post discussions with the team, he got the full picture and agreed with the team's decision to take the risk.


#3 Mercedes will pick a preference this time

Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton's battles can be largely attributed to Mercedes failing to choose a number one driver, until the latter was far in the lead (2014, 2015). They never really picked a preference and often gave no team instructions, letting both of them fight it out at the front.

Thank you @NicoRosberg

He’s for you today @LewisHamilton

We all saw what happened today … and it’s so clear …

Please no more Mr Nice Guy for the rest of the season

However, the Knight's career is not as dominant at this point, and the Brackley outfit will be cautious not to annoy a young promising talent like Russell.

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The 24-year-old also has a shot at P2 this year, purely based on his performances.

It wouldn't be surprising if Russell surpasses Lewis Hamilton in terms of performances in the coming years and is made the Silver Arrows' first choice. Lewis Hamilton will then have no option but to be the wingman rather than the pilot.

With Mercedes being extra cautious with their drivers this time, it seems like the British duo is not going to face the same fate as the British-German pairing.

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Edited by
Rhythm Bhatia
 
 
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