No on-track battles with Lewis Hamilton until Mercedes are in the mix for F1 race wins, says George Russell

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 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)

George Russell has suggested that he and Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton will save their on-track battles for when they can compete for race wins.

The first three Grands Prix of the season have seen the Brits snatch a surprise podium each, leaving Russell second in the championship despite their perceived lack of pace.

The 24-year-old has accepted Mercedes have not closed the gap “at all” on Ferrari and Red Bull, the latter having suffered a number of retirements in the early weeks.

While stuck behind the title challengers, Russell has said he and Hamilton will avoid any on-track battles.

“These small things in the scheme of things don't mean a lot really,” said Russell.

“Obviously, everybody wants to finish ahead of their teammate, but Lewis and I have no interest in battling it out for P5, P6.

“We want to work together to claw that gap back. So, there's no hard feelings if he's ahead of me, there's no hard feelings if I'm ahead of him, and we're not too concerned about that at the moment.

“We have a bigger picture. And the long game we need to play is to catch these guys up because we're here to win.”

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