Martin Brundle says a Hamilton/Russell pairing at Mercedes next season would undoubtedly create friction at the Brackley squad.
Last weekend in Belgium, Mercedes boss Toto Wolff said the German outfit had decided who from George Russell and Valtteri Bottas will race alongside Lewis Hamilton next season.
Russell’s move from Williams to Mercedes for 2022 appears to be as sure as death and taxes, with French broadcaster Canal + predicting an official announcement from Mercedes ahead of the Italian Grand Prix weekend.
Brundle says that all top teams will need to have a young talented charger in their line-up to contend with the future, and Mercedes is no exception.
“Looking forward, two or three years whizzes past in anyone’s life but Formula 1 in particular and it will be Max Verstappen versus Charles Leclerc versus Lando Norris – you have to have one of the young guns established in your team helping to steer in the new direction,” said the Sky F1 commentator.
“If you’re going to put a case for George, he will go in there and there would be friction between him and Lewis, there’s 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.”
Earlier this month, speculating on a move to Mercedes, Russell insisted that he would remain first and foremost a team player, regardless of his personal ambitions in F1.
“My ambitions and goals are incredibly clear and I want to become the F1 world champion,” he said.
“But I would never put my own agenda or my own goals above the team no matter who my team-mate is.”
Russell may be a perfect fit for Mercedes, but will he be a good fit for Hamilton? Time will tell…
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