Tuesday, March 2, 2021
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Hamilton can’t prevent Verstappen from joining Mercedes

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I have read that among the clauses for the renewal of the Lewis Hamilton contract with Mercedes, the British driver wants to put a barrier to the possible arrival of Max Verstappen to the German team.

But in fact, the Englishman does not put any prejudice to his teammate, knowing that he will have to face George Russell, his compatriot who so impressed with him W11 at the Sakhir GP, at some point.

The Max Verstappen clause does not exist. It is pure invention. Lewis Hamilton has no power over Mercedes to impose a “comfortable” teammate.

Of course, it is no mystery that English has been openly in favor of the renewal of Valtteri Bottas, since both have always gotten along very well, but whoever has put on the map that the seven-time champion is worried about the possible arrival of the Dutchman to the Brackley team is very wrong.

The reason? It’s very simple: the future of the German team is already written and his name is George Russell and not Max Verstappen. Hamilton himself is fully aware of this because, after the debut in the W11 at the Sakhir GP of the young 23-year-old talent drawn from Williams precisely to replace Lewis, who suffered from coronavirus, he demanded to see the telemetry of his replacement and what considered a series threat to the future.

In his Mercedes debut, Russell lost pole position by 26 milliseconds, but at the start of the race he surprised Bottas to master the race. Only the chaos in the pits at the double tire change and the “mysterious” subsequent puncture relegated George to ninth place, but he obtained the fastest lap at the moment when he managed to cut all his rivals by a second.

Hamilton knows very well that if he had to pull the strings again to renew his contract, Russell would undoubtedly be the predestined replacement, certainly not Max Verstappen.

Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes F1 W11, George Russell, Mercedes F1 W11

Photo by: Charles Coates / Motorsport Images

The Dutchman has always been one of Toto Wolff’s “favorites”: the Austrian had tried to snatch him from Helmut Marko. The Mercedes director was able to snatch the Dutchman by making him debut in F1 before the Austrian house, but it would have been a very strong bet.

More from Lewis Hamilton:

Toto would like Max to be Hamilton’s successor, but there is no doubt that Verstappen’s path to glory is blocked by Russell. English has become the idol of Ola Kallenius: In a single race George has shown the world that, in a silver arrow, several drivers would be able to fight for the world championship, pulverizing the image of Valtteri Bottas, now too undervalued compared to its real value.

The message is clear: the winner would be Mercedes, not Lewis Hamilton. But I do not agree with this dogma, because we must recognize all the value of the world champion (Russell has already “stolen” some of the solutions that Lewis developed in the Mercedes and has copied them from Williams), but his talent also has contributed to the hit streak.

Nico Rosberg beat him in 2016, but then the German “had” to retire exhausted from competing with a driver he himself judged stronger.

The thing is, Verstappen’s name is read more in the media than George’s as a future Mercedes driver, and that’s really weird, as Wolff still has Russell’s “tag” and therefore has another foal in his kennel of young pilots. Yet the Brit is currently viewed more as a … danger capable of undermining a system that revolves around Hamilton than as an asset.

All this is anomalous and highlights the profound difference of opinion between the Mercedes designed by Wolff and the one desired by Kallenius, the great chief of Daimler AG.

The Austrian no longer has the unlimited autonomy granted to him by Dieter Zetsche and which has so far allowed them to win seven consecutive drivers ‘and constructors’ world titles. The Swede is a more active figure: a decision-maker who wants to be present.

Lewis should have understood it and we will see it from the signing of the contract in the week, but the dualism that stands out in the background, what effect could it have on a Brackley system that until now had operated differently?

GALLERY: George Russell’s performance in Sakhir

George Russell, Mercedes F1 W11, Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes F1 W11, Sergio Pérez, Racing Point RP20, Charles Leclerc, Ferrari SF1000, Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB16, Daniel Ricciardo, Renault F1 Team R.S.20, al inicio

George Russell, Mercedes F1 W11, Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes F1 W11, Sergio Pérez, Racing Point RP20, Charles Leclerc, Ferrari SF1000, Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB16, Daniel Ricciardo, Renault F1 Team R.S.20, al inicio

1/24

Foto de: Andy Hone / Motorsport Images

George Russell, Mercedes F1 W11, Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes F1 W11, Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB16, Charles Leclerc, Ferrari SF1000, Sergio Pérez, Racing Point RP20, al inicio

George Russell, Mercedes F1 W11, Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes F1 W11, Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB16, Charles Leclerc, Ferrari SF1000, Sergio Pérez, Racing Point RP20, al inicio

2/24

Foto de: Andy Hone / Motorsport Images

George Russell, Mercedes F1 W11, Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes F1 W11, Carlos Sainz Jr., McLaren MCL35, Daniel Ricciardo, Renault F1 Team R.S.20, al inicio

George Russell, Mercedes F1 W11, Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes F1 W11, Carlos Sainz Jr., McLaren MCL35, Daniel Ricciardo, Renault F1 Team R.S.20, al inicio

3/24

Foto de: Andy Hone / Motorsport Images

George Russell, Mercedes F1 W11, Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes F1 W11

George Russell, Mercedes F1 W11, Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes F1 W11

4/24

Foto de: Andy Hone / Motorsport Images

George Russell, Mercedes F1 W11

George Russell, Mercedes F1 W11

5/24

Photo by: Zak Mauger / Motorsport Images

George Russell, Mercedes F1 W11

George Russell, Mercedes F1 W11

6/24

Foto de: Charles Coates / Motorsport Images

George Russell, Mercedes F1 W11, Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes F1 W11, Carlos Sainz Jr., McLaren MCL35, and Daniel Ricciardo, Renault F1 Team R.S.20

George Russell, Mercedes F1 W11, Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes F1 W11, Carlos Sainz Jr., McLaren MCL35, and Daniel Ricciardo, Renault F1 Team R.S.20

7/24

Photo by: Zak Mauger / Motorsport Images

Safety Car y George Russell, Mercedes F1 W11

Safety Car y George Russell, Mercedes F1 W11

8/24

Photo by: Zak Mauger / Motorsport Images

George Russell, Mercedes F1 W11, Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes F1 W11

George Russell, Mercedes F1 W11, Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes F1 W11

9/24

Photo by: Zak Mauger / Motorsport Images

George Russell, Mercedes F1 W11, Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes F1 W11, Carlos Sainz Jr., McLaren MCL35

George Russell, Mercedes F1 W11, Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes F1 W11, Carlos Sainz Jr., McLaren MCL35

10/24

Foto de: Charles Coates / Motorsport Images

George Russell, Mercedes F1 W11, Lance Stroll, Racing Point RP20

George Russell, Mercedes F1 W11, Lance Stroll, Racing Point RP20

11/24

Foto de: Andy Hone / Motorsport Images

George Russell, Mercedes F1 W11, Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes F1 W11

George Russell, Mercedes F1 W11, Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes F1 W11

12/24

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

George Russell, Mercedes F1 W11, Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes F1 W11

George Russell, Mercedes F1 W11, Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes F1 W11

13/24

Foto de: Charles Coates / Motorsport Images

George Russell, Mercedes F1 W11, Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes F1 W11

George Russell, Mercedes F1 W11, Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes F1 W11

14/24

Foto de: Charles Coates / Motorsport Images

George Russell, Mercedes F1 W11, Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes F1 W11

George Russell, Mercedes F1 W11, Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes F1 W11

15/24

Foto de: Charles Coates / Motorsport Images

George Russell, Mercedes F1 W11, Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes F1 W11

George Russell, Mercedes F1 W11, Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes F1 W11

16/24

Foto de: Charles Coates / Motorsport Images

George Russell, Mercedes F1 W11, pit stop

George Russell, Mercedes F1 W11, pit stop

17/24

Foto de: Steven Tee / Motorsport Images

George Russell, Mercedes F1 W11,pit stop

George Russell, Mercedes F1 W11,pit stop

18/24

Foto de: Steven Tee / Motorsport Images

Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes F1 W11, George Russell, Mercedes F1 W11

Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes F1 W11, George Russell, Mercedes F1 W11

19/24

Foto de: Charles Coates / Motorsport Images

George Russell, Mercedes F1 W11, Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes F1 W11, Carlos Sainz Jr., McLaren MCL35

George Russell, Mercedes F1 W11, Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes F1 W11, Carlos Sainz Jr., McLaren MCL35

20/24

Foto de: Charles Coates / Motorsport Images

George Russell, Mercedes F1 W11 en pits

George Russell, Mercedes F1 W11 en pits

21/24

Foto de: Steve Etherington / Motorsport Images

George Russell, Mercedes F1 W11 en pits

George Russell, Mercedes F1 W11 en pits

22/24

Foto de: Steve Etherington / Motorsport Images

George Russell, Mercedes F1 W11

George Russell, Mercedes F1 W11

23/24

Foto de: Charles Coates / Motorsport Images

George Russell, Mercedes F1 W11 pit stop

George Russell, Mercedes F1 W11 pit stop

24/24

Foto de: Steve Etherington / Motorsport Images

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