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Mercedes’ George Russell has been ‘phenomenal’; Lewis Hamilton ‘hates to lose to his teammates’ – Nico Rosberg

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Nico Rosberg has his thoughts on the Lewis Hamilton-George Russell battle; Max Verstappen holding 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: 06/20/22 23:46

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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 difficult 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 points ahead of sixth-place Hamilton, who called his car “undrivable” in Friday practice ahead of last weekend’s Canadian Grand Prix.

Russell finished ahead of fellow Brit Hamilton in seven of the nine races this term, and Hamilton’s podium finish in Montreal was the first time he had beaten Russell since the opening round in Bahrain.

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

Speaking in Any monday driven2016 world champion and Hamilton’s former teammate, Rosberg said: “George has done an amazing job, phenomenal with how hard that car has been to drive.

Damon Hill comments on the FIA's steps to reduce porpoise and how different the attitude was in his racing days.

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Damon Hill comments on the FIA’s steps to reduce porpoise and how different the attitude was in his racing days.

Damon Hill comments on the FIA’s steps to reduce porpoise and how different the attitude was in his racing days.

“To be so consistent, drive so well, not make any mistakes, always get the most out of it, it’s been brilliant.

“On Saturday, you would think, ‘OK, stay 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.’ amazing.

‘Hamilton delivered in Canada; Merc making progress’

“Lewis is driving at his best. He just had an incredibly unlucky season with all these different things going against him. This was a normal weekend and he performed in his usual amazing way.”

Lewis Hamilton says his Montreal podium has given him a renewed confidence in his car

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Lewis Hamilton says his Montreal podium has given him a renewed confidence in his car

Lewis Hamilton says his Montreal podium has given him a renewed confidence in his car

“That pairing of drivers is so strong, unbelievable, but, make no mistake, Lewis passionately hates coming second to a teammate, so he will be ultra-motivated and striving internally.”

“The [Mercedes] car in the race was really decent. I thought it was amazing how George, right after the start, surged forward, passing car after car at the hairpin.

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

George Russell was pleased with the pace of his Mercedes in Montreal but says they have yet to fully resolve their porpoise issues.

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George Russell was pleased with the pace of his Mercedes in Montreal but says they have yet to fully resolve their porpoise issues.

George Russell was pleased with the pace of his Mercedes in Montreal but says they have yet to fully resolve their porpoise issues.

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 having old tires.

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: “It’s been a super impressive couple of races from Max. He’s so confident and driving at such an impressive level.

Sky F1's Ted Kravitz recalls an exciting Canadian Grand Prix, which was won by Max Verstappen

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Sky F1’s Ted Kravitz recalls an exciting Canadian Grand Prix, which was won by Max Verstappen

Sky F1’s Ted Kravitz recalls an exciting Canadian Grand Prix, which was won by Max Verstappen

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

“Inside the car it’s a horrible feeling. You’ve done everything perfectly and then because of the safety car you suddenly have the Ferrari behind you in a triple DRS zone putting a lot of pressure on it.

“If you make the slightest mistake, it’s over, but Max handled it perfectly.

“Sainz has it to be a good and decent driver within Ferrari, but at the moment he doesn’t have it to be a world champion. Performance-wise, Charles Leclerc has beaten him in every race this year.”

“He still needs to find a bit of progress, which is a big surprise after last year. Of course the car is completely different, so maybe it will take him longer to get on top of things.”

Verstappen extended his lead at the top of the drivers' standings after resisting late pressure from Carlos Sainz to win the Canadian Grand Prix.

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Verstappen extended his lead at the top of the drivers’ standings after resisting late pressure from Carlos Sainz to win the Canadian Grand Prix.

Verstappen extended his lead at the top of the drivers’ standings after resisting late pressure from Carlos Sainz to win the Canadian Grand Prix.

Rosberg: Alonso more than deserves his seat

Alpine’s Fernando Alonso started the race in second place after claiming his first row in 10 years, but eventually finished ninth due to technical issues and, according to Rosberg, his team’s questionable 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 is taking the seat of a younger driver.

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 that in talent and skill he is one of the greatest of all time.”

“Sometimes he lacked that social competition; he often had a hard time being in the best teams with the best cars. They didn’t really want him anymore because of burned bridges in the past.”

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

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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 better results, but in terms of talent, he is surely one of the best of all time or up there.

“For him to keep driving like this is great. I was so devastated for him.” [in Canada]I wanted him to be on the podium. I think Alpine made a little mistake, they could have jumped into the pitlane.

“He’s driving so amazingly there shouldn’t be any discussion that he’s taking someone’s seat. He deserves more than to be where he is.”

“He’s super spectacular the way he drives, fans all over the world love him and he’s a great asset to the Alpine team.”

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