(L to R): Lewis Hamilton, George Russell, Mercedes, Baku Street Circuit, 2022

Hamilton ‘kept morale high in Mercedes’ tough moments’ – Russell

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In the round-up: Russell praises the impact of his team mate in his first year at Mercedes and the F3 grid grows.

In brief

Hamilton’s team impact praised by Russell

George Russell has heaped praise on team mate Lewis Hamilton as he summarised how his first season at Mercedes went.

In an interview put out by the team, Russell was asked about the working relationship relationship he had established with Hamilton.

“The relationship has been harmonious,” he said. “What impressed me the most with Lewis is seeing how he works with the team, how he gets the most out of the people around him, how he continues to keep morale high when moments are tough and ultimately what I already knew is how damn fast he is and how much of a challenge it is being teammates with a guy like him.”

After an eight-year run of titles, Mercedes sank to third in the constructors’ standings this year. They were the only team to score points in every race, but were off the podium in eight out of 22 grands prix. Russell delivered the team’s only win at the Brazilian Grand Prix.

Hunter Yeany moves teams in FIA F3

Hunter Yeany has signed with Carlin for the 2023 FIA Formula 3 season, as he aims to contest his first full season in the series.

The 17-year-old American had a strong rookie year in car racing, winning the United States Formula 4 championship and starring in two winter series, but endured a tricky 2021 as he stepped up to Formula Regional and Formula 3.

He did two rounds of the 2021 F3 season with Charouz Racing System, and six events in 2022 with Campos Racing but had to miss more than a third of the season after breaking his wrist in a race.

Alonso protege moves up the single-seater ladder

ART Grand Prix have announced Nikola Tsolov as one of their FIA F3 drivers for 2023.

The Bulgarian made his single-seater racing debut this year in the Spanish F4 championship, winning 13 races and the title. Tsolov raced as an Alpine Academy affiliate, and his move up to F3 should making him a full-blown F1 junior with Alpine.

His career is also supported by Fernando Alonso, who started managing him this year and previously had his ‘FA Racing’ branding adorn Tsolov’s overalls through his highly successful kart career.

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Comment of the day

Daniel Ricciardo‘s exit from Red Bull, and his 2023 return, is not a simple case of a driver making team moves to be in a more competitive position in F1. There was politics involved in both moves, and the comments made by team principal Christian Horner then and now have only added to that.

I’m disappointed but not surprised that Horner is trying to stir the pot here. I’ve never seen a team boss welcome someone back with such thinly veiled criticisms. This seems to be a power move for Horner. It’s understandable to an extent, as his relationship with Vettel went a similar way once the driver made the decision and not the management.

I think Horner’s reaction is mostly to do with the mess the team were left in by Daniel from a recruitment perspective. Toro Rosso had dropped some good talent and ended up with Gasly and Hartley. Any promotion would be too soon and Red Bull’s enviable programme was made to look a shadow of itself for years afterwards. I think the team took that personally.

Ricciardo on the other hand had coached Verstappen off the track as much as on it. Sometimes with Max I wish he still had someone like Daniel on the team advising him. Daniel made Max a better man I’ve no doubt about that. I felt it was a failure of management to alienate Ricciardo as they did in 2018…

With the 2021 rule change, Enstone were a great option but mostly the only option for 2019. McLaren, Ferrari and Mercedes all had junior drivers signed up for the future with no obvious openings. Getting a season under his belt before the rule changes was a shrewd move – indeed Enstone did finish best of the rest the year of the rule change.

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Ferrox Glideh!

On this day in motorsport

  • 30 years ago today Ayrton Senna tested a Penske IndyCar at Firebird Raceway


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Author information

Ida Wood
Often found in junior single-seater paddocks around Europe doing journalism and television commentary, or dabbling in teaching Photography back in the UK. Currently based...

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9 comments on “Hamilton ‘kept morale high in Mercedes’ tough moments’ – Russell”

  1. Interesting take in the CotD there @rbalonso. Some good points made.

    1. Yeah, there was a time when the RB driver program seemed to be the future. Yet when they’ve had to fill a seat in recent years its often looked quite barren, despite the multitude RB liveried cars in junior formula. Maybe it’s the introduction of Super License points. But I think it’s telling that neither Nyck nor Sergio are ‘homegrown’.

      The days of Vergne, Alguesauri, Ricciardo, Carlos Sainz, Kvyat seem a long time ago.

      1. Vergne, Alguesauri, Ricciardo, Carlos Sainz, Kvyat

        Please note the absolute list of mediocrity you’ve come up with as the pinnacle for the Red Bull young drivers’ program.

        Throughout its history, they were very lucky to get Seb back from BMW and did all the necessary things to get Max once he arrived at their doorstep.

        Those are their two World Champions. And then there were a lot of drivers put through the program for whatever reason without coming true in the end …

        1. The only one that could’ve maybe won a championship in the right circumstances out of those is ricciardo, however I feel vergne should’ve been promoted instead of kvyat and could’ve done fine; I don’t rate the others, sainz around or lower level than ricciardo at his best.

  2. How about an article expanding on Senna’s Indycar test?

  3. From the outside (and in front of the media) it looked like Ham did the most complaining about his car and team and George was the one keeping positive and upbeat…

    1. It also looked like Hamilton did the most to drive the progress in the car’s development and turn its shoddy performance around. He certainly sacrificed his own performance, gathering data, testing the car, and its schedule of new parts, as his teammate concentrated solely on his setup for qualifying. So yeah, if that meant Hamilton was vocal about the car, whilst his teammate just smiled about his good fortune, then yeah i’ll concede that point.

  4. @superman Lewis complained about the car. When did he complain about the team?

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