Lewis Hamilton defends Mercedes and Russell following sabotage claims

Lewis Hamilton defends Mercedes and Russell following sabotage claims

Lewis Hamilton has backed Mercedes and teammate George Russell following social media criticism after the Canadian Grand Prix.

Seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton has strongly defended teammate George Russell and rallied support for Mercedes amid wild allegations of sabotage and unfair practices within the team.

The Silver Arrows came within a whisker of winning their first race of the year as Russell secured a podium finish in Montreal after finishing third, just over four seconds behind race winner Max Verstappen.

Meanwhile, teammate Hamilton finished fourth marking an impressive showing for the Brackley-based outfit which has struggled for form across the last two years, winning just one grand prix since the start of 2022.

The Brit has endured a challenging start to the 2024 F1 season, which is his last with Mercedes before making a dramatic switch to Ferrari for 2025 F1. Hamilton has largely been outperformed by Russell, who has edged his teammate 8-1 in qualifying so far this year.

The 39-year-old made a peculiar statement in Monaco claiming he doesn’t expect to outqualify Russell again this year and his poor performance has raised speculation that Mercedes could possibly be favoring Russell.

Hamilton was questioned by the media on Thursday at the Spanish Grand Prix over the concerns and claims that some of his fans were making on social media. In response, the British driver called on fans to issue support to Mercedes rather than being critical as it attempts to improve its on-track form.

“They know that, if you look at the years, we’ve always been a strong team, we’ve always worked really hard together,” Hamilton said.

“I think it is easy to get emotional, I even commented in the last race for example just how I have faults. I think we need support, not negativity.

“I wasn’t actually aware that George was experiencing any negativity. George has done nothing but his best every single weekend and delivering for the team, so he can’t be faulted at all.

“Of course there are always things that can be better within a team and that comes through conversations, through communication, and that’s what we’re consistently working on.

“But we’re all in the same boat, we’re all working hard together and we all want to finish on a high. We owe that to our long-term relationship.”

He was also asked if he was aware of an email claiming to be from a Mercedes team member raising concerns about his car being sabotaged.

“I just commented on it so not much more to add, I haven’t seen the email,” Hamilton responded.

Meanwhile, Russell insisted he had not seen any negativity directed towards him, but said it demonstrates how social media can be a ‘double-edged sword.’

“Personally I don’t look on Instagram or Twitter to be honest,” he said. “I still control my own account, so I work with my team and all of the content that goes out is through me, and all of the captions, everything, is all of my messaging.

“But I think social media is a really double-edged sword. There are so many funny things that you see on social media, and it keeps you up to date with so much. But then on the flip side it’s not just myself but everybody in the limelight there seems to be negativity pointed towards them.

“Like Lewis said, you want to feel the support, not giving out negativity to others. It’s not something I’ve seen, I’ve heard about it.

“Of course it’s never nice to hear this stuff but that’s unfortunately the world we live in at the moment and any person in the public eye is facing.”

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