Lewis Hamilton stated that he wouldn't mind being on the same team as Max Verstappen, tapping into the possibility of the same happening. Back in 2019 in Austria, the then-five-time world champion was asked if he would like to be teammates with the Dutchman in the sport.
As per Motorsport Magazine, Verstappen was a hot prospect in 2019 and arguably the most exciting driver on the grid, with many teams eyeing the Red Bull driver's signature, including the then-world champions, Mercedes. Hamilton, who was teammates alongside Valtteri Bottas, however, mentioned that he was happy with the Finn by his side, saying:
“I think the team’s pretty happy with Valtteri and me. But I do know Max is definitely interested in opportunities… If there is a chance, then great. (turning to Verstappen) Sure, I don’t mind driving with you. I’ll drive against whoever.”
Max Verstappen, who was present in the room, cheekily responded that the Brit had to say his name as he would have done the same, replying:
“Yes, well he had to say that. I’d have said that [in his situation]. He’s not going to say, ‘Oh, I’d hate it.’ But I don’t think about these things. Also, I’m not purely focused on Lewis. There are other great drivers in the paddock who can achieve similar things.”
Toto Wolff chimes in on the George Russell- Lewis Hamilton pairing
Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff indirectly revealed that he was more focused on helping George Russell go up against the mighty Lewis Hamilton. The Austrian compared his situation to a parent's dilemma and how they often support 'the weaker child'. According to The Mirror, he said:
"At Red Bull, the distribution of roles between Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez is clear. Max is the stronger driver. But when you have two equal drivers, like Hamilton and Russell at Mercedes or [Charles] Leclerc and [Carlos] Sainz at Ferrari, the team boss then has to support the driver who has more difficulties."
"Like parents helping a weaker child. After that, in the difficult moments, the driver who can bring the extra flash of inspiration will prevail. That makes the difference between the teammates."
George Russell finished 35 points ahead of Lewis Hamilton in the drivers' championship at the end of the 2022 season. He became only the 3rd driver, after Jenson Button and Nico Rosberg, to get the better of the 7-time world champion in equal machinery.