Following the race in Japan, George Russell spoke to the media about the team's orders. The Mercedes leaders convinced Russell to let Lewis Hamilton go despite his initial doubts. In response to a question about whether he accepted the order, he replied;
“Yeah, of course.
You use the radio as a bit of a release valve because, it's so hot in the car, it's a long race, you're there pushing for an hour and a half, you're fighting every inch."- he said, as quoted by crash.net! As a team player, Russell has once again demonstrated that he puts the team's needs before his own.
P2 constructors' championship is at stake in every race, as he knows. "The main goal is to finish P2 in the constructors' championship. The drivers' championship for me is out of the window totally, Lewis is in a good place to fight for a good position.
But the goal is just to finish ahead of Ferrari this season, keep on working for next year, so yeah, no issues on my side”.
George Russell on the team's call
Every point in the game is important, according to George Russell.
In the end, Mercedes did not suffer too many negative consequences from the call. While Russell and Hamilton are far from winning the championship this season, they hope next season will be completely different. There is quality in both, but that is not enough to ensure success.
“Of course, difficult for the team to judge. But as I said, myself I've got one goal, which is to finish P2 in the constructors' championship for the team. Lewis has had a really consistent season this year. He's in a battle for P3 in the drivers' championship.
Worst case, we lost two extra points there. But we could have ended up with four points less, so when you take the averages, the team made the right call. And from my side, zero hard feelings. As I said, we've got to work on the car and we're not going to get upset over a potential fifth and sixth loss versus a fifth and a seventh”.