Lando Norris teases George Russell over switching teams and ditching Lewis Hamilton

Mercedes: What’s gone wrong at the F1 and can they recover?

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Lando Norris has poked fun at George Russell ahead of the Austrian Grand Prix, claiming the Mercedes star will ditch Lewis Hamilton to switch to Aston Martin after he was spotted wearing a green jumper. Norris posted the image of Russell smiling while wearing a green sweater on his Instagram story.

Underneath, Norris posted the message “#georgetoastoncofirmed (sic).” The McLaren driver also wrote “#AstonGreen”, suggesting the colour meant Russell was on the verge of switching allegiances.

It comes after Russell admitted he was “disappointed” he had not won a race yet for Mercedes. The Silver Arrows have struggled to match the pace of the frontrunners this season.

Russell’s best result in 2022 has been a series of podium finishes usually after taking advantage of mistakes or failures for other teams. However, the former Williams star revealed he would not have been satisfied with a winless start ahead of the new season.

Russell explained: “I think if you had told me before the season that we’d be seven races in and I wouldn’t have a victory to my name, I would have definitely been a bit disappointed with that. But I think given the pace of the car and given where we’ve been as a team, I’ve been reasonably pleased with how I’ve performed.

“I think the results have been maximised.” Russell has been one of the biggest stars of the new season, beating experienced world champion Lewis Hamilton on seven occasions.

The 24-year-old was the only driver to finish in the top five at every race this season until the impressive streak was broken at the British Grand Prix.

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Russell is still 18 points ahead of his seven-time champion team-mate in the drivers’ standings despite Hamilton’s podium at Silverstone. Russell now lies just 70 behind championship leader Max Verstappen despite Mercedes’ struggles over the first half of the season.

However, the former Williams driver has revealed the extent of the team’s issues had taken their toll. He revealed the team has had a switch of personality this year with mechanics and divers needing to dig deep” to salvage results in a bad situation.

Russell told The Guardian: “Winning is easy to a degree because everybody is happy and the team spirit is great. Suddenly when you are dealing with all of these issues you have to dig deep and as individuals you learn a lot about yourself and about a group of people as well.”

Mercedes’ Andrew Shovlin claimed the team’s new upgrades for Silverstone were successful. He revealed the new changes had delivered around three-tenths more downforce which had led to an increase in performance.

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