Fans Shocked as George Russell Refuses Team Orders Amidst Battle With ‘Childhood Hero’ Lewis Hamilton
George Russell’s latest movement on track is now the hottest talking point on the grid currently. The Mercedes star refused to let his older teammate Lewis Hamilton through at Jeddah.
As the team has asked Russell to swap positions. But he refused to make the decision and let his childhood hero through and kept his place in the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.
Solid points. 💪 That’s P4 for George and P5 for Lewis in Jeddah. 🏁 pic.twitter.com/oZdshJkpvB
— Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS F1 Team (@MercedesAMGF1) March 19, 2023
After the safety car restart, cars were close to one another. With the very little gap between them, the two Mercedes cars were in P4 and P5. Pushing each other, Russell and Hamilton were ready to take the leap and launch their challenger against Fernando Alonso of Aston Martin.
With that in mind, the team reportedly asked the younger driver in the team to fall back. Denying the order, Russell said he wanted to push Alonso and hence did not let Hamilton through.
The 25-year-old then said he wanted to push the Aston Martin driver because he had 5 seconds time penalty. Unfortunately, for both of them, Alonso had already served the penalty in the pit stop.
The former Williams driver, who was pushing like a madman, ultimately finished the race in P3. Thanks to a wrongly served penalty by Alonso, he was awarded a further 10-second time penalty.
Fans react to the incident
Given below are some of the reactions taken from Twitter:
Do you think Russell was being stubborn. I mean Lewis could’ve gone after Alonso. Lewis was faster in the medium. George gained nada! I mean, the team could hv been stern…ama?
— Diana Omenda (@didi_danana) March 19, 2023
Russell should look at the 2017 Hungarian GP as to what good teamwork is, he could’ve let Lewis go and then if Lewis couldn’t pass/catch Alonso they could’ve swapped the cars around at the end
— Jamez (@F1Jamez) March 19, 2023
#TeamLH George Russell is NO friend of ours!!!
— Everette (@Evm4prez) March 19, 2023
Great drive from Lewis, shame Russell didn’t follow team orders, hope Lewis destroys him this year… George isn’t a team player
— ռathan (@naththursfield) March 19, 2023
Russell proved fans wrong in the end
In a shocking outcome, the Mercedes star proved the Hamilton fans wrong. As FIA has come up with a bizarre 10-second time penalty for Alonso, the 25-year-old got back his place on the podium.
It took around 30 laps and the podium celebration for the F1 governing body to find out the penalty wasn’t served accurately. Much to the disappointment of Alonso and Aston Martin, George Russell became the ultimate winner in Jeddah.
The Mercedes driver crossed the finish line 25 seconds after winner Sergio Perez. The penalty meant the two-time world champion went back to 30 seconds and hence lost the place to Russell.
With this, the former Williams man pulled himself up to P6 in the driver’s championship. With 18 points, Russell is, however, behind teammate Hamilton, who picked up 20 points altogether and is in P5.