“He has nothing to lose”– Nico Rosberg believes that George Russell has an advantage in his first season with Mercedes against Lewis Hamilton.
George Russell is announced to replace Valtteri Bottas in Mercedes for the 2022 season and partner with the seven-time world champion and his British compatriot Lewis Hamilton.
— Formula 1 (@F1) September 7, 2021
Amidst these gigantic odds, Nico Rosberg feels that Hamilton’s stature is an advantage for Russell, as the 23-year-old driver is in nothing to lose situation.
“The positive is he [Russell] has nothing to lose and everything to gain because you’re up against the best of all time,” the 2016 F1 champion told Sky F1.
“Nobody expects you to destroy him but if you manage to, you’ll be the absolute biggest hero of all time,” he added. On the contrary, Rosberg states that only Hamilton is in a position to lose in this situation.
“That’s what makes it so difficult for Lewis because he’s got this young gun who’s never won anything coming in, so Lewis can only lose actually.”
“He’s the greatest, and imagine this young gun starts to beat him…that’s a really uncomfortable situation to be in.”
The dilemma for George Russell is tough
The last teammate to take on against Hamilton was Rosberg, and since then, Mercedes has avoided replicating the situation with Bottas. But what would be Russell’s case is unknown. Hence, the German feels that Russell’s dilemma would be tough to solve.
“The challenge for George is also in that first wheel-to-wheel battle…does he yield or does he stick in there? That’s so difficult because if he sticks in there and [a collision] is entirely his fault, that would be a disastrous start to his time at Mercedes,” added Rosberg.
“But if he sticks in there and it’s not his fault and more Lewis’ fault, it would be a giant boost for the confidence, so it’s such a difficult one to manage.”