Hamilton/Russell 'friction' is inevitable at Mercedes, Brundle claims

User Rating: 5 / 5

Star ActiveStar ActiveStar ActiveStar ActiveStar Active

George Russell's arrival at Mercedes will lead to "friction" with Lewis Hamilton, Martin Brundle predicts.

The current Williams driver is expected to be announced at the Brackley-based team very soon after Kimi Raikkonen confirmed he is retiring from Formula 1 at the end of 2021.

His departure at Alfa Romeo paves the way for Valtteri Bottas to take his seat next year, leaving F1 to look forward to a very tasty pairing between two British drivers who represent the now and the future.

And as we've seen at Red Bull and Ferrari previously, when generational shifts occur within a team, they aren't always the smoothest.

“Looking forward, two or three years whizz past quickly in anyone’s life and in Formula 1, it will be Max Verstappen versus Charles Leclerc versus Lando Norris," Brundle told Sky Sports.

Also Read:

"You have to have one of the young guns established in your team helping to steer in the new direction.

“And if you’re going to put a case for George, he will go in there and there would be friction between him and Lewis, no doubt about it, because George would be feisty and he’d want to prove himself, get his elbows out straight away.

“Mercedes need to think about two or three years down the road and these decisions are made very much with that kind of timescale involved.

“They need a driver who will win the race if Lewis doesn’t and they have the fastest car.”

For his part, Russell has insisted he will not put his agenda ahead of the team's and will work together with Hamilton.

While the seven-time world champion has also vowed to continue doing his part.

"I’ve obviously been vocal in the past of my loyalty to Valtteri, and worked incredibly closely with him," he said last weekend at Spa.

"I think our working relationship is better than ever. Toto [Wolff]’s a great leader, and as I’ve said in the past, we always stay connected. Of course, we talk about these things.

"And naturally, we’re all part of the same team, we want what’s best for the team moving forwards, we want to win more championships, and so we just have conversations.

"At the end of the day, it’s just down to him [Wolff] and the board at Mercedes to make that decision. I’m a part of the team so I’ll support them whichever way they go, naturally.

"But yeah, I’m just at the moment trying to put all of my energy into doing the best I can this season."