Former F1 Driver Blames Lewis Hamilton’s Mentality for Inferior 2022 Outing to Mercedes Teammate Russell

Published 06/21/2022, 10:55 AM EDT
BAHRAIN, BAHRAIN – MARCH 10: George Russell of Great Britain and Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain and Mercedes walk in the Paddock during Day One of F1 Testing at Bahrain International Circuit on March 10, 2022 in Bahrain, Bahrain. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)

Seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton is enduring one of the worst starts of an F1 season of his career. And the start is arguably the outcome of the work done in the Brackley base. The 2022 regulations were tough on the Mercedes team and the W13 now suffers from extreme porpoising, as we’ve seen so far.

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Hamilton’s teammate George Russell seems to handle the car better than the former world champion. There have been many theories so far this season for the reason behind it. People have pointed out that Hamilton was spoiled with championship-winning cars while Russell was making do at Williams. There were questions of confidence in the car.

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However, after the Canadian GP, son of legendary Gilles, Jacques Villeneuve, gives his take on the matter. “Lewis needs to have this start to go and get to his 100% form and this year you have the impression he is not been driving to the maximum of his potential,” said Villeneuve before reminding us of the incident in Barcelona where Hamilton wanted to save the engine before finishing P5. The incident reiterates his point that the Mercedes man is not giving his 100% this season.

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He added, “That’s the difference with Max from last year. Max is 100% the whole time, Lewis isn’t! But today, he was in front of his teammate, he could see the podium, he had extreme pace. Why didn’t he have this pace earlier in the season? Because obviously, the pace can be there.”

Villeneuve points out Hamilton’s attitude toward this season, and there might be some truth in there.

Lewis Hamilton hoping to switch roles with Russell in the second half

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Mercedes is experimenting and struggling every race weekend to unlock the W13’s potential. But the team has failed to do so in most of the races so far. The experimentation was especially bad during the first two practice sessions in Montreal, where Hamilton labeled the car as ‘underivable’.

Formula One F1 – Spanish Grand Prix – Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, Barcelona, Spain – May 21, 2022 Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton and George Russell ahead of qualifying REUTERS/Nacho Doce

But the Billion Dollar Man enjoyed a better race and was on the podium for the second time this season. However, Hamilton feels it’s Russell’s turn for experiments now, he said, “Yeah, maybe in the second half of the season George can do the experiments!”

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Tired of the bouncing and experiments, hopefully, Hamilton will have a better second half of the season.

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Mahim Suhalka

285 articles

Mahim Suhalka is an F1 Author at EssentiallySports. This Sports Management post-graduate is an ardent supporter of the Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 team and their lead driver, Lewis Hamilton. The fact that Lewis dominated one of the most expensive sports in the world for all these years, despite his humble beginnings, has been a huge inspiration for Mahim and has made him a tenured fan of the competitive sport itself.

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