F1 pundit tips Lewis Hamilton to 'cause a race-ending crash' with Mercedes teammate George Russell
F1 pundit and Viaplay analyst Van der Grint feels that Lewis Hamilton might just be the one who ends up causing a race-ending crash with teammate George Russell. The rivalry between the two Mercedes drivers has intensified a bit in the last few races with the younger driver challenging the former champion in the race in Suzuka.
Earlier in the race, George Russell had pulled off the overtake on Lewis Hamilton at the chicane after the 130R only to be overtaken on the subsequent straight. The two drivers went at it again later in the race when George was pushed off the track at the spoon curve.
Talking about the battle between the two in Japan on Viaplay's post-race show, Van der Grint was questioned if a race-ending crash was imminent between the two drivers and who could cause it. According to the analyst, he felt that it might be Lewis Hamilton who ended up doing that. He said:
“I rather think that Hamilton will cause an accident because Russell is hard to pass. He doesn’t move aside. Then Hamilton will give him a push out of frustration. They were obviously both racing hard in a car that was tricky, pushing to the limit. There was obviously some radio traffic as well that reflected that."
"But I think we’ve got into the habit over the years of not reading too much into what’s said in the heat of the moment and the pressure of the cockpit, particularly at a hot and demanding race like this one. Anything that needs tidying up or discussing afterward, we’ll be able to do away from that pressure cooker nice and calmly in the debrief.”
Lewis Hamilton was number one but George Russell is now doing well
Talking about the racing dynamics between Lewis Hamilton and George Russell, Viaplay analyst Ernest Knoors felt that the younger driver's recent form has caused this headache for the team. With both drivers very close to each other, the two were using team orders to bend Mercedes in their direction. He said:
“It was initially self-evident that Hamilton was number one within the team, but Russell is currently doing very well. All the messages to the engineers about ‘are we fighting each other?’, are all things to try to bend the team to your will, or at least try to bend the race strategy to your will. That’s why the fights become a bit harder."
Despite all the talk about competition between the two drivers, the gap between the two drivers in the championship standings is huge. While Lewis Hamilton is at 190 points, George Russell only has 115 points to his name.