Russell disobeys Hamilton team order and Leclerc fumes as Perez wins Saudi Grand Prix | F1 | Sport
The Saudi Arabian Grand Prix finished with the same top three as the season-opening race in Bahrain, although Sergio Perez managed to hold off Max Verstappen to take the chequered flag in what proved to be an eventful race. Express Sport takes a look at four things learned from the Grand Prix.
George Russell gets tough
Both George Russell and Lewis Hamilton have had a harmonious relationship in their short time together at Mercedes, but that might be tested following the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix. Hamilton was the faster car on medium tyres after the Safety Car period ended and Mercedes gave Russell orders to let his team-mate through.
But the 25-year-old was not willing to give up his place, insisting he wanted to “manage the tyres” and “fight later”. There also appeared to be a bit of confusion as Russell believed Fernando Alonso still had a five-second penalty to serve before he was told the Spaniard had already taken the penalty.
Shortly after the radio exchange, Hamilton dropped back from Russell possibly with the medium compound starting to wear off.
Russell wasn’t the only driver unhappy with his engineer during the race as Charles Leclerc was also far from impressed earlier in the Grand Prix. Leclerc was undercut by Hamilton with his pit-stop during the Safety Car period and the Ferrari driver was told after the move that he could have avoided it by driving a bit closer to Carlos Sainz.
“You need to tell me that before!” Leclerc responded angrily on team radio.
Fernando Alonso happy
Not everybody was unhappy with their race though as Fernando Alonso seemed ot be enjoying life throughout the Grand Prix. While racing on the medium compound, he said: “Tyres feel good – we can keep going.”