Is Lewis Hamilton facing ‘systematic disadvantage’ against teammate George Russell? Mercedes director gives his take

F1 Grand Prix of Canada
Lewis at the F1 Grand Prix of Canada

Mercedes director James Allison feels claims of Lewis Hamilton facing a systematic disadvantage against George Russell are untrue and unfair. The root of such suggestions first emerged when Hamilton made a comment after the qualifying in Monaco where he said that he doesn't expect to out-qualify his teammate through the season.

When questioned further about what he meant by that, the driver opted not to say anything else. In the following race weekend in Canada, Lewis Hamilton was again out-qualified by teammate George Russell. The gap was more pronounced in qualifying, as Russell secured pole position while Hamilton was in P7.

After the first nine races of the season, Lewis Hamilton is 1-8 in qualifying against his teammate George Russell. At the same time, even in races, the number is 2-7 in favor of Russell. When the number is this big, it points to a one-way street in terms of the intra-team battle.

This has further given rise to comments of Lewis Hamilton being 'sabotaged' by Mercedes, as the fans have used the driver's comments in Canada and thought there is some hidden meaning to them.

On Beyond the Grid podcast, James Allison was questioned on his views about the entire situation, to which he said that it would be unfair to claim there was a systematic disadvantage that Lewis Hamilton was facing. He said:

“I think if you just look at the stats, 8-1, then maybe, well, it was 7-1 back then, but maybe it would be reasonable to think if that trend continues, there won't be many times when he'll be on pole. I think that if you try and read into that stuff that isn't there, like there's somehow he's got a systematic disadvantage on qualifying day, that's not true and not fair. So far as we can make it, the cars are identical.”

He added:

“The engine use is identical. If the cars are different on setup, it's because that's what the driving engineering team on either side of the garage have iterated to, but they have the chance to have identical stuff if they chose.”

Allison gives the example of Lewis Hamilton opting out of using the front wing

James Allison also talked about the instance of Lewis Hamilton opting out of using the upgraded front wing in Monaco even though it was available to both. In the end, George Russell had the upgraded front wing and used it to qualify and finish ahead in the race. Allison said:

“On one occasion this year and famously in Monaco, they had a different front wing on the car because we only had one available and we took the decision that we would get that wing on the car as soon as we could and it had to go to one or other and we had a conversation and Lewis said, now let George have it.”

Lewis Hamilton was clearly not happy about once again losing out to George Russell in Canada. The driver will be hoping to bounce back soon in the next race in Barcelona.

Quick Links

Edited by Luke Koshi
App download animated image Get the free App now