RACING

Mercedes’ George Russell was ‘phenomenal’; Lewis Hamilton ‘hates losing to his teammates’ – Nico Rosberg

ADVERTISEMENT

Nico Rosberg has his say on the Lewis Hamilton-George Russell battle; Max Verstappen retaining Carlos Sainz in Canada; and the “super spectacular” Fernando Alonso – Next up for F1 is the British Grand Prix with all sessions live on Sky Sports F1 from July 1-3

Last update: 20/06/22 23:46

ADVERTISEMENT

Please use Chrome browser for more accessible video player

2016 world champion Nico Rosberg discusses the rivalry between Lewis Hamilton and his Mercedes teammate George Russell.

2016 world champion Nico Rosberg discusses the rivalry between Lewis Hamilton and his Mercedes teammate George Russell.

Nico Rosberg says George Russell has been “phenomenal” in a trying F1 season for Mercedes so far – but warned him that Lewis Hamilton “hates” losing to his team-mates.

Russell sits fourth in the Drivers’ Championship with 111 points – 34 ahead of sixth-placed Hamilton, who called his car “undriveable” in Friday practice ahead of last weekend’s Canadian Grand Prix.

Russell has edged fellow Brit Hamilton in seven of nine races this term, with Hamilton’s podium finish in Montreal being the first time he has passed Russell since round one in Bahrain.

Russell also leads the head-to-head qualifier 5-4.

speaking on Every Monday Driven2016 world champion and former Hamilton team-mate Rosberg said: “George has done a tremendous, phenomenal job with the difficulty of driving this car.

Damon Hill comments on the measures taken by the FIA ​​to reduce porpoising and how the attitude was different when he was a driver

Please use Chrome browser for more accessible video player

Damon Hill comments on the measures taken by the FIA ​​to reduce porpoising and how the attitude was different when he was a driver

Damon Hill comments on the measures taken by the FIA ​​to reduce porpoising and how the attitude was different when he was a driver

“To be so consistent, to drive so well, to not make mistakes, to always get the most out of it, he was brilliant.

“Saturday you might think, ‘Okay, keep it safe, bring home another P4 or P5 in qualifying’ but no. He said, ‘I’m going to put my slicks on, I only care about pole position.’ It’s really great.

‘Hamilton delivered to Canada; Merc is progressing

“Lewis is driving at his best. He’s just had an incredibly unlucky season with all these different things going against him. It was a normal weekend and he delivered in the usual impressive way.

Lewis Hamilton says his podium in Montreal gave him confidence in his car

Please use Chrome browser for more accessible video player

Lewis Hamilton says his podium in Montreal gave him confidence in his car

Lewis Hamilton says his podium in Montreal gave him confidence in his car

“This driver pairing is so strong, amazing, but make no mistake, Lewis passionately hates never being second to a teammate, so he’ll be ultra-motivated and pushing hard internally.

“The [Mercedes] car in the race was really decent. I thought it was so awesome to see how George, right after the start, progressed, overtaking one car after another in the hairpin.

“I think they’re making progress but there’s still a long way to go for Ferrari and Red Bull. They can’t win at Silverstone, they’re still too far away.”

George Russell was happy with his Mercedes' pace in Montreal, but says they haven't fully resolved their porpoising issues yet

Please use Chrome browser for more accessible video player

George Russell was happy with his Mercedes’ pace in Montreal, but says they haven’t fully resolved their porpoising issues yet

George Russell was happy with his Mercedes’ pace in Montreal, but says they haven’t fully resolved their porpoising issues yet

Hamilton finished behind race winner Max Verstappen and second-placed Carlos Sainz in Canada, with championship leader and reigning world champion Verstappen fending off a late challenge from Ferrari man Sainz after a safety car, despite tires aging.

Verstappen is now toasting back-to-back wins after triumphing in Azerbaijan a week earlier.

Does Sainz have what it takes to be world champion?

Rosberg said: “Max had some super impressive races. He is so confident and drives at such an impressive level.

Sky F1's Ted Kravitz reflects on a thrilling Canadian Grand Prix, won by Max Verstappen

Please use Chrome browser for more accessible video player

Sky F1’s Ted Kravitz reflects on a thrilling Canadian Grand Prix, won by Max Verstappen

Sky F1’s Ted Kravitz reflects on a thrilling Canadian Grand Prix, won by Max Verstappen

“He drove perfectly in difficult circumstances in qualifying and Sainz’s pressure in the race should not be underestimated.

“Inside the car it’s a horrible feeling. You did everything perfectly and then because of the safety car you suddenly have the Ferrari behind you in a triple DRS zone which puts so much pressure.

“If you make the slightest mistake, he’s through but Max has done it so perfectly.

“Sainz has the strength in him to be a good, decent driver within Ferrari, but at the moment he doesn’t have the strength to be world champion. In terms of performance, Charles Leclerc has beaten him to every race this year.

“He still has to find quite a bit of progress, which is quite surprising after last year. Of course the car is completely different, so maybe he needs more time to master things.”

Verstappen extended his lead atop the drivers' standings after withstanding late pressure from Carlos Sainz to win the Canadian Grand Prix

Please use Chrome browser for more accessible video player

Verstappen extended his lead atop the drivers’ standings after withstanding late pressure from Carlos Sainz to win the Canadian Grand Prix

Verstappen extended his lead atop the drivers’ standings after withstanding late pressure from Carlos Sainz to win the Canadian Grand Prix

Rosberg: Alonso deserves more than his seat

Alpine’s Fernando Alonso started the race second after winning his first front row in 10 years, but eventually finished ninth after technical problems and, according to Rosberg, questionable team strategy.

Still, the 40-year-old now has four top 10 finishes in a row and Rosberg shrugged off any notion that the two-time world champion would take a younger driver’s seat.

Rosberg said of the Spaniard, who won his titles with Renault in 2005 and 2006: “I’m a big fan of Alonso at the moment. We all know his talent and skills are one of the best all time.

“He sometimes lacked that social skill – he often struggled to be in the best teams with the best cars. They didn’t really want him anymore because of the bridges burned in the past.

Rosberg says there should be no debate that Fernando Alonso deserves his F1 seat

Please use Chrome browser for more accessible video player

Rosberg says there should be no debate that Fernando Alonso deserves his F1 seat

Rosberg says there should be no debate that Fernando Alonso deserves his F1 seat

“That was definitely one of his weaknesses in terms of getting even better results, but in terms of talent, he’s surely one of the best ever or up there.

“For him to keep driving like that is so cool. I was so disgusted for him [in Canada], I wanted him to be on the podium. I think Alpine made a small mistake, they could have made a pit lane jump.

“He drives so well that there should be no discussion about him taking anyone’s place. He deserves more than just to be where he is.

“It’s super spectacular the way he drives, fans all over the world love it and it’s a huge asset for the Alpine team.”

ADVERTISEMENT