George Russell told to demand Mercedes ‘bonus’ as his family react after Hamilton orders

George Russell sacrificed a point in the drivers’ championship by sticking to the orders of Mercedes team – and Ted Kravitz has joked he deserves a prize for his actions.

Ted Kravitz told George Russell he should demand a bonus from Mercedes in front of his parents. That came after he’d conceded sixth position to team-mate Lewis Hamilton in the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix.

Russell was on ageing tyres towards the climax of Sunday’s race at Imola, so he was brought in to pit. That allowed Hamilton, who had stayed out six laps longer earlier in the race, to move past him on track.

He was told he wouldn’t get the position back despite questioning the engineers – meaning he’d have to settle for six points in the drivers’ championship instead of eight, but he did manage to get one of those points back by setting the fastest lap – a minor boost for Mercedes in the constructors’ standings.

Addressing the situation on Ted’s Race Notebook, Kravitz said: “I would suggest if I was Mercedes, I would give George some kind of bonus, and a sort of thank you very much present for sacrificing the glorious P6 and getting the fastest lap for the team.”

He then approached Russell’s parents, Steve and Alison, who were speaking to his Sky Sports colleague Naomi Schiff and laughed off the suggestion. “If I was George I would demand an extra tot of rum, going back to a sort of naval tradition,” Kravitz continued.

“Or at least free strawberry milkshakes from Mercedes for life for gloriously giving up sixth place, which should’ve rightly been his today.”

Russell took it on the chin, telling Sky in his post-race interview: “You’re never going to be happy with P6 and P7. At the end of the day, as a team we scored an extra point. I lost my position to Lewis but I’m not going to sulk over losing a P6.”

Russell put the team ahead of himself at Imola (Image: Getty)
Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff explained the team’s decision for the pit stop.

“His lap times were getting slower and slower, and our forecast saw he was not going to make it to the end and we didn’t want to lose the position to [Sergio] Perez,” Wolff said.

“Lewis would have probably taken him anyway. The point being that we are racing for P6 and P7 and wanted to keep the Red Bull behind. It was a safety call.”

Both Russell and Hamilton admitted the team were currently in “no man’s land” after a lacklustre start to the season. They’re seventh and eighth respectively after seven race weekends, with Mercedes fourth overall.



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