July 23, 2024

One of Toto Wolff’s two deputies in Japan, Bradley Lord, commented on the “difficult race on a difficult track” of Lewis Hamilton and George Russell.

During the Japanese Grand Prix, Lewis Hamilton and George Russell clashed many times, even going off the track at Spoon.

This caused Russell to complain to the team, asking “who do we want to fight here, against each other or against each other”, then saying that Lewis had “pushed him off the track”.

After the race, one of the deputies of absent team boss Toto Wolff, Bradley Lord, said what happened between the two was just a “tough race”.

“They were extremely competitive on a tough track,” Lord said. “It’s easy to read a lot into these radio messages in the heat of the moment. As always, we talk about it without high cockpit pressure and temperature in the following presentation.

“This is where we put everything that needs to be put away.”

Lord also reflected on the rest of the race, including Lewis’ contact with Sergio Perez, which damaged his car.

“There was a little fight there. From the moment Lewis made contact with Perez, who passed him in the straight, it put us behind and we lost our first lap positions. “From there, the question is what can we save and how far can we fight back from there.

“It was clear that Lewis had reached the absolute limits of the car during his two stops, along with George we rolled the dice at one stop to try and see if we could do it.

“In the end, fifth and seventh were better than sixth and seventh, and that helped us minimize the points [lost] to Ferrari.”

When asked why Mercedes included George in their risky one-stop shop strategy, Lord explained:

“With George, he was well ahead of Alonso and comfortably ahead of the cars behind him. This gave [Carlos] Sainz the opportunity to buy a second [old] Ferrari.

“It doesn’t really work but it’s worth the risk,” he concluded.

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