Jenson Button agrees with Lewis Hamilton after ‘things get serious’

Formula One preview: A lap of the Australian Grand Prix

Jenson Button has sided with Lewis Hamilton over George Russell as tensions rise between the Mercedes pair at the Australian Grand Prix. It comes after Russell bit back at Hamilton after the seven-time champion claimed the ex-Williams star got lucky with his car set-up in Saudi Arabia.

However, the 25-year-old responded by saying it was his decision to choose one direction over the other and not a coin flip. But, 2009 F1 world champion Button said “maybe George did get lucky” in Jeddah as he backed Hamilton to close the gap at Albert Park.

He told Sky Sports F1: “All I can say is it’s fun to watch and it’s not going to stop there. You’ve got two very competitive drivers. George Russell last year was a very big team player, which he should be, his first time in the team, Now things get a little bit serious between the two of them.

“They have got a car that’s not quite there but they are out there to beat each other. George did a good job at the last race and I’m sure Lewis will come back at him here but he didn’t have the balance he liked. Maybe he was right, maybe George did get a bit lucky that the set-up direction they went in was better.

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“But you develop your set-up through a race weekend and maybe if you see George is strong follow that direction.” Hamilton struggled in Jeddah with the Briton only capable of P5, behind Russell who was ahead in fourth.

After the race, the 38-year-old refused to take responsibility and instead pointed the blame at a bad car setup. But, in a twist, Hamilton remarked it was a 50/50 choice with Russell getting lucky by selecting the better option.

He commented: “The set-up was a bit off – I think if I had the set-up that George had, I would have been in a better position.

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“There was like a 50:50 choice. I chose one way, he chose another. More often than not, the way he went was the wrong one, but it just happened to work, so I could only match his pace rather than be quicker.”

Russell hit back at his more experienced team-mate as he stressed he “knew” his setup would work out well.

He added: “I don’t think there’s any luck in it at all. I think it’s down to the preparation you put in before the event.”

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