George Russell feels for Charles Leclerc's bad luck in the 2022 F1 season. The Monegasque driver is currently second in the drivers' standings despite having arguably the fastest car on the track.
Leclerc has been a victim of poor luck in 2022, with Ferrari's dubious strategic calls often being the cause of his points deficit to Max Verstappen. The Dutchman currently leads the Ferrari driver by a whopping 80-points in the drivers' standings, putting Leclerc on the back foot for the remainder of the season. The 24-year-old Scuderia driver has suffered from his car's poor reliability in 2022, with the team having admitted that it prioritized performance over reliability during development.
The same can't be said about George Russell's Mercedes, which has been remarkably reliable since the season opener in Bahrain. The German team has now fixed the porpoising issues that plagued them at the start of the season, allowing Russell and Lewis Hamilton to make multiple podium appearances since.
Speaking to the media after the 2022 F1 Hungarian GP, Russell spoke about Charles Leclerc and Max Verstappen's respective title bids, saying:
“I think Max and Charles, they are on a similar level at the moment but I really feel for Charles because he is doing a superb job at the minute and he has been on the receiving end of a lot of bad luck. Max and Red Bull are just absolutely solid week-in, week-out. We’ve seen from the last couple of race weekends that they can just bring the car home and pick up the pieces but there is no doubt we are making progress."
George Russell has been above Lewis Hamilton all season, claims former world champion
Former world champion Jacques Villeneuve has claimed that George Russell has been above Lewis Hamilton and has exceeded expectations so far in his first full season at Mercedes.
Russell has been the most consistent driver on the F1 grid in 2022 and his results speak for themselves. The Briton has been in the top five in 12 out of 13 races so far. The only time he failed to maintain that record was when he crashed out on the opening lap of the 2022 F1 British GP at Silverstone. He is also the first Mercedes driver to secure a front-row starting position this season when he took pole at the Hungaroring last weekend and shocked the entire F1 world.
In his column for Dutch publication Formule1.NL after the 2022 F1 Hungarian GP, Villeneuve wrote:
“[George] Russell exceeded my expectations. I knew he was fast but he is above Lewis Hamilton and has given Mercedes the first pole of the year. But you can see Hamilton responding now as well and I think Mercedes could just end up second among the constructors.”
Lewis Hamilton, however, has reduced the gap to his teammate George Russell in the drivers' standings and is now only 12-points behind the Briton. Only time will tell whether Russell can hold onto his lead in the remainder of the season and pip the seven-time world champion.
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