MARTIN SAMUEL: Christian Horner expects Lewis Hamilton to face a fierce battle in the new Formula One season… but with team-mate George Russell, not title rival Max Verstappen

Fireworks, says Christian Horner, when asked what he expects from this Formula One season, but he is not talking about the explosion everyone expects. Lewis Hamilton versus Max Verstappen; Mercedes versus Red Bull — well, that is a given. He is more interested in Hamilton’s fledgling relationship with his new team-mate George Russell. ‘For Mercedes, it’s a different dynamic to the one they’ve had for four or five years with Valtteri Bottas. Daniel was a young guy, couple of years’ experience, similar to George. ‘I don’t know what Mercedes have said to George, but I presume they told him he has the same opportunity and it’s up to him what he does on the circuit.

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