Mercedes boss told to prioritize Lewis Hamilton by tearing up Russell's contract: "The problem is George"
Footage recently surfaced showing prominent F1 journalist Peter Windsor suggesting that Mercedes should terminate George Russell's contract to benefit Lewis Hamilton.
The lack of a competitive car has prevented both drivers from achieving the success they desire, a story that has been consistent since they became teammates at the beginning of the 2022 season. Russell had hoped to be in the running for regular victories but the reality was far different.
Despite this, the duo worked well together last year to maximize their points, with Russell ultimately beating Lewis Hamilton by 35 points in the intra-team battle at the end of the season. Hamilton currently leads Russell in the 2023 drivers' standings by a minimal margin.
Peter Windsor told the Cameron F1 YouTube channel that Mercedes would benefit by ordering George Russell to know his place within the team. He said:
"The problem is George, of course – it's not anything more or less than that. And you've got to remember Lewis wanted to keep Valtteri. So something big happened there in Lewis' mind... They didn't listen to him and they signed George."
"If I was now drafted in as team principal at Mercedes, I would say, 'George, here's the contract, it's in two pieces now mate. If you want to keep driving no problem, sign on the dotted line here and you will never finish in front of Lewis Hamilton. Sorry.'"
Lewis Hamilton claims he will 'win again'
Lewis Hamilton remains confident in his ability to win at least one more race in the sport, despite his team's current form. The seven-time world champion's most recent victory was in Jeddah at the end of the 2021 season, where he was engaged in a title battle with Max Verstappen.
However, Hamilton's 2022 season was lackluster in terms of victories, with no wins to his name, making it his worst year statistically in the sport.
Mercedes' chances of winning the championship this season appear slim. Although the team is not facing any issues with porpoising, they lack the necessary rear grip and downforce to challenge Red Bull and Aston Martin.
The world champion also struggled for pace at the 2023 Saudi Arabian GP, finishing behind his teammate in P5.
Speaking about his chances in the sport at a press conference ahead of the 2023 Saudi Arabian GP, where Sportskeeda was present, Lewis Hamilton said:
"Yeah, I will win again. It's just going to take some time. Of course, in 2021 when we were here, we were hoping to be fighting for another World Championship. You know, you never know what's up ahead. There will be things that happen in all of our lives that we least expect. But it's not how you fall, it's how you get up."
Given Lewis Hamilton's mediocre result in Jeddah, it remains to be seen if we will see the seven-time world champion on the top step of the podium this year.