Do Hamilton and Mercedes still see eye to eye?

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Do Hamilton and Mercedes still see eye to eye?

Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes have 16 F1 events together before the seven-time world champion departs the team for Ferrari in 2025.

Ahead of the 2024 season, Hamilton announced he was leaving Mercedes and has insisted he will give it everything to end his time at the Silver Arrows on a high.

However, he is currently having his worst season yet in F1 having failed to finish in the top five in a race, and is being beaten by Mercedes team-mate George Russell.

Hamilton, who is the most successful F1 driver of all time with 103 wins and 104 pole positions, hasn’t won a race since the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix in December 2021.

Few would have thought the 39-year-old go the next two seasons without a victory, and there will be plenty of intrigue over the remainder of 2024 to see if Hamilton can gel with the car and find his best form.

Hamilton vs Russell in 2024

Head to Head Hamilton Russell
Qualifying 1 7
Races 2* 5*
Points 35 44
Drivers Champ. 8th 7th

*Russell crashed out of the Australian Grand Prix on Lap 57, but was a classified finisher in 17th

Russell with the upper hand

Mercedes clearly don’t have a car to compete for the podium as Red Bull, Ferrari and McLaren have made gains over the winter and the early part of the season.

But, the No 1 rule for a driver in motorsport is to beat your team-mate, something Hamilton isn’t currently doing this year.

He has only outqualified Russell once and beaten him once when both drivers have seen the chequered flag – both instances coming at the Miami Grand Prix.

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Just days after the Miami Grand Prix, Lewis Hamilton hit the red carpet of the Met Gala amongst other sporting superstars such as tennis’ Williams sisters and NFL wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr.

At every other race, Russell has been ahead when it’s mattered most, although Hamilton did enjoy a front row start in the Chinese Grand Prix Sprint and finished the shortened race in second place behind Max Verstappen.

Last time out in Monaco, Hamilton was ahead throughout the three practice sessions but Russell, running with a new front wing, beat him in Qualifying.

Afterwards, Hamilton made some interesting comments to Sky Sports F1 about his one-lap pace.

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Following the Monaco GP Qualifying, Lewis Hamilton expressed his confusion over his performance in qualifying compared to practice.

“I anticipated it would be difficult to outqualify George because he has the upgraded component, but it’s great to see we are bringing upgrades,” he said.

“Once we got to Qualifying, I don’t understand. I already know automatically that I’m going to lose two-tenths [of a second] going into Qualifying. That’s definitely frustrating and something I don’t really have an answer for. I’m not driving any different. The laps were great. I’m just lacking.

Hamilton added: “I don’t anticipate being ahead of George in Qualifying this year,” and when asked why he responded: “We will see.”

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George Russell says Mercedes is making ‘huge progress’ after a really strong result by claiming fifth place in Monaco qualifying.

Wolff: Mercedes giving both drivers best car possible

Hamilton joined Mercedes in 2013 and has won six of his seven drivers’ titles with the Brackley-based team.

Toto Wolff has overseen Mercedes during that time as team principal, experiencing every emotion with Hamilton over the last decade.

Wolff says Mercedes are “trying to maximise the results for Hamilton’s final season” and understands Hamilton’s frustration.

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Highlights of the Monaco Grand Prix.

“All drivers are a bit sceptical at times. I think as a team, we have demonstrated even in the most tense competitions between team-mates that we are trying to always balance it right and be transparent and fair,” explained Wolff.

“I think there was not a moment apart from 2016 Abu Dhabi that we tried to manage to race. We haven’t done since then.

“But I can understand as a driver, you want the best out of yourself and the team, and sometimes when it’s going against you, you can question it. But as a team, we’re 100 per cent on a mission of giving the two drivers the best possible cars and best possible strategies and support.”

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George Russell says his race felt controlled in Monaco even with Max Verstappen putting the pressure on.

Asked to explain Hamilton’s struggles, particularly in Qualifying, Wolff added: “I don’t think there is a specific explanation for a statistic, but it’s still a statistic. We are eight races in and there is another 16 to go, so I’m not seeing this as a trend.”

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Schiff on Hamilton’s form

Hamilton also voiced his frustration in the Monaco race when he questioned why Mercedes didn’t tell him to push on his out lap when pitting with 28 laps to go from seventh place.

Red Bull reacted to Hamilton’s pit stop by pitting Verstappen on the next lap and Hamilton failed to undercut his rival. Wolff admitted Mercedes made a mistake by not giving Hamilton a clear order on his out lap.

Sky Sports F1‘s Naomi Schiff thinks Hamilton is in new territory and Russell is doing a “great job” to beat his team-mate.

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Sky F1’s Ted Kravitz reflects on all the big talking points from the Monaco Grand Prix.

“It’s really strange though because Lewis was on form all weekend, but then got to Qualifying and just didn’t seem to be able to put that perfect lap together,” said Schiff.

“It’s frustrating, I’m sure for Lewis, to be 7-1 down to George in Qualifying, but there’s also the psychology that’s going to come around. He’s obviously leaving the team and who’s the team going to be favouring in these sorts of situations? And that’s unfortunately what comes with announcing that you’re going to leave the team so early.”

Formula 1 leaves Europe for the final time before the summer break as the championship moves on to Montreal for the Canadian Grand Prix. Watch every session at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve from June 7-9 live on Sky Sports F1, with Sunday’s race at 7pm. Stream every F1 race and more with a NOW Sports Month Membership – No contract, cancel anytime

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