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Russell addresses Hamilton near-miss

Russell addresses Hamilton near-miss

Russell addresses Hamilton near-miss

Russell addresses Hamilton near-miss

George Russell has joked Mercedes "like to keep it close" after narrowly avoiding contact with Lewis Hamilton at the Dutch Grand Prix.

Hamilton and Russell had been running one-two in the latter stages after long-time race leader Max Verstappen had pitted for soft tyres under safety car conditions.

The following lap, Russell requested soft tyres of his own in order to avoid warm-up issues on his used medium tyres, conceding position back to the Red Bull driver and leaving his team-mate exposed at the front.

Verstappen made his way past a despondent seven-time champion but as Russell launched his offensive, the two Mercedes drivers came close to contact.

After finishing second from sixth on the grid, Russell addressed the incident in a playful fashion.

"We like to keep it close always," said Russell.

"As a team, we showed incredible pace. I know the team result wasn't what we hoped for but this gives a lot of confidence and a lot of faith moving forward so it is incredible to see three different teams on the podium.

"We at Mercedes are slowly getting closer to that top step so let's keep on pushing."

Russell "sorry" for Hamilton

Hamilton lost a further position to Ferrari's Charles Leclerc before the end of the race to miss out on a podium, leaving Russell to express his sympathy for the result.

But on Mercedes' pace as a whole, he added: "If you told me before the race I would be finishing P2, I would have been very happy with that.

"As a team, we thought we had a shot at victory and we rolled the dice with that one-stop strategy from the off.

"The pace of the Mercedes was absolutely flying so really proud of the job we have done as a team to keep on improving and show how fast our race car is.

"Starting a little further down the grid, it is always going to be challenging but for us as a team, an incredible race.

"Sorry for Lewis that he wasn't on the podium. He did an excellent job and deserved to be here too."

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