Rosberg: Mercedes F1 team could be "more heated" if Russell joins

Nico Rosberg believes Mercedes could become "more heated" internally if the team opts to sign George Russell as Lewis Hamilton's Formula 1 teammate for 2021.

Rosberg: Mercedes F1 team could be "more heated" if Russell joins

Mercedes is set to announce in the coming weeks who out of Russell and Valtteri Bottas will race for its senior squad next year, with Russell widely expected to land the seat.

Mercedes has raced with an unchanged line-up since Bottas joined the team in 2017, replacing Rosberg after his immediate retirement in the wake of his world championship victory.

Tensions ran high between Hamilton and Rosberg throughout their time as teammates as they went head-to-head for the championship on three occasions, with their relationship souring after a couple of on-track collisions.

Rosberg's exit resulted in a change in the team dynamic at Mercedes, with Hamilton and Bottas's partnership proving to be far more cordial. The pair have won the world championship every year since Bottas joined the team in 2017.

Hamilton has hailed Bottas as his best teammate in F1, and said earlier this year that he did not "necessarily see that it needs to change" for 2022.

Speaking to Autosport ahead of this weekend's Dutch Grand Prix at Zandvoort, Rosberg said that while both drivers deserved the seat, Russell would be the more exciting option that could bring its own challenges.

"Whether it's Valtteri or George, both of them deserve that seat," Rosberg said.

"Valtteri has been really doing a good job in that Mercedes car. Of course things haven't gone his way this year, but in general, he's done the job that Mercedes requires.

George Russell, Williams, 2nd position, celebrates on the podium

George Russell, Williams, 2nd position, celebrates on the podium

Photo by: Glenn Dunbar / Motorsport Images

"Let's see what they decide. Valtteri would be the easier decision, because you know what you have. George is maybe the little bit more exciting decision. Let's see what they come up with.

"Yes, if they do take George, then the battle internally at Mercedes would be different, and potentially more heated."

Asked if a possible partnership with Russell could lead to tensions similar to what he experienced with Hamilton, Rosberg said he had "no idea", but that Russell would be going from one extreme to another in his F1 career by landing a top seat.

"If one day he would drive next to Lewis, then it's impossible to predict how he would act in such a situation," said Rosberg.

"It's an extreme, it's completely extremes, suddenly you're in a race winning car every weekend, you're fighting against the best of all-time, who has been there for like the last eight years.

"It's an extreme situation. So it really depends from one driver to the other who you would deal with that as a teammate."

shares
comments

Related video

Dutch F1 GP chiefs still hoping for DRS use in banked final corner
Previous article

Dutch F1 GP chiefs still hoping for DRS use in banked final corner

Next article

Russell: Spa F1 points haul could let Williams try ‘extreme’ experiments

Russell: Spa F1 points haul could let Williams try ‘extreme’ experiments
Load comments
The “glorified taxi” driver central to F1’s continued safety push Plus

The “glorified taxi” driver central to F1’s continued safety push

As the driver of Formula 1’s medical car, Alan van der Merwe’s job is to wait – and hope his skills aren’t needed. JAMES NEWBOLD hears from F1’s lesser-known stalwarts

Formula 1
Jan 15, 2022
When BMW added F1 'rocket fuel' to ignite Brabham's 1983 title push Plus

When BMW added F1 'rocket fuel' to ignite Brabham's 1983 title push

There was an ace up the sleeve during the 1983 F1 title-winning season of Nelson Piquet and Brabham. It made a frontrunning car invincible for the last three races to see off Renault's Alain Prost and secure the combination's second world title in three years

Formula 1
Jan 13, 2022
How “abysmal” reliability blunted Brabham’s first winner Plus

How “abysmal” reliability blunted Brabham’s first winner

Brabham’s first world championship race-winning car was held back by unreliable Climax engines – or so its creators believed, as STUART CODLING explains

Formula 1
Jan 10, 2022
The steps Norris took to reach a new level in F1 2021 Plus

The steps Norris took to reach a new level in F1 2021

Lando Norris came of age as a grand prix driver in 2021. McLaren’s young ace is no longer an apprentice or a quietly capable number two – he’s proved himself a potential winner in the top flight and, as STUART CODLING finds out, he’s ready to stake his claim to greatness…

Formula 1
Jan 9, 2022
The original F1 maestro who set the bar for Schumacher and Hamilton Plus

The original F1 maestro who set the bar for Schumacher and Hamilton

Juan Manuel Fangio, peerless on track and charming off it, established the gold standard of grand prix greatness. NIGEL ROEBUCK recalls a remarkable champion

Formula 1
Jan 8, 2022
How Russell sees his place in the Mercedes-Hamilton F1 superteam Plus

How Russell sees his place in the Mercedes-Hamilton F1 superteam

George Russell joining Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes this year gives it arguably the best line-up in Formula 1 – if it can avoid too many fireworks. After serving his apprenticeship at Williams, Russell is the man that Mercedes team believes can lead it in the post-Hamilton era, but how will he fare against the seven-time champion? Autosport heard from the man himself

Formula 1
Jan 6, 2022
How F1 pulled off its second pandemic season and its 2022 implications Plus

How F1 pulled off its second pandemic season and its 2022 implications

OPINION: The Formula 1 season just gone was the second to be completed under the dreaded shadow of the COVID-19 pandemic, but in many ways it was much more ‘normal’ than 2020. Here’s the story of how the championship’s various organisers delivered a second challenging campaign, which offers a glimpse at what may be different next time around

Formula 1
Jan 5, 2022
The adapt or die mentality that will shape F1's future Plus

The adapt or die mentality that will shape F1's future

As attitudes towards the motor car and what powers it change, Formula 1 must adapt its offering. MARK GALLAGHER ponders the end of fossil fuels

Formula 1
Jan 3, 2022