Mercedes accused of showing lack of respect in choosing Lewis Hamilton’s team-mate

Lewis Hamilton will have a new Mercedes team-mate next season after George Russell was chosen to replace Valtteri Bottas. Russell excelled during three seasons with Williams and will now get his opportunity to impress on the big stage.

Russell has been on the Mercedes books since 2017 after the Silver Arrows spotted his potential and signed him up as a junior driver.

He has gained essential experience during his stint with Williams and claimed his only podium at last year’s rain-soaked Belgium Grand Prix as he finished second after the contest lasted just one lap.

And he will now be under pressure to grab a podium finish every time he races thanks to the dominance of the Mercedes cars.

Russell’s pairing with Hamilton means the Silver Arrows have brought an end to the relationship between the seven-time champion and Bottas.

The Finnish driver had lined-up alongside Hamilton for five seasons but has now moved to Alfa Romeo ahead of the new season.

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The 32-year-old won the Turkish Grand Prix in October and also landed 10 other podium finishes.

He was far more consistent than Red Bull’s second driver Sergio Perez, who ended the season fourth in the overall standings after claiming only five podium finishes.

But that wasn’t enough to persuade Mercedes bosses to keep him on for a sixth season.

Bottas will now line-up for Alfa Romeo as part of a new-look partnership alongside Guanyu Zhou after Antonio Giovinazzi and Kimi Raikkonen both left the team at the end of last year.