George Russell issues response to David Coulthard over Lewis Hamilton ‘mentally at Ferrari’ claim

Jamie Woodhouse
Lewis Hamilton and David Coulthard

Lewis Hamilton and David Coulthard

George Russell has refuted the claim made by 13-time grand prix winner David Coulthard that Lewis Hamilton “mentally” is already a Ferrari driver.

Hamilton is looking to go out on a high at Mercedes after announcing before the F1 2024 campaign began that he would be a Ferrari driver as of next year, though his efforts to write a positive final Mercedes chapter are so far not paying off.

Lewis Hamilton ‘definitely not’ at Ferrari in his mind

Russell has established superiority over his seven-time World Champion Mercedes team-mate Hamilton, boasting a 3-0 lead in qualifying and 2-0 in race trim, with neither Mercedes driver having made it to the chequered flag last time out in Australia.

But it was during the prior round in Saudi Arabia where Coulthard made the claim that Hamilton seems to have checked out mentally at Mercedes.

“He’s just not been settled with this car,” said Coulthard on Channel 4.

“And you can tell, you know, George is just honing the lap time right now and you can feel that Lewis is on the backfoot.

“What we do know though, if he does find a window of performance, then you know he will deliver.

“But right now, it’s looking like his decision to head off to Ferrari, mentally, he is already there.”

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However, Russell has stressed that Coulthard is completely wrong in that assessment, with Hamilton fully committed to making his final Mercedes season a success.

“Since Lewis’ announcement, I think he has been incredibly professional with the team and the working relationship with everyone within Mercedes feels like nothing has changed,” said Russell as per Nextgen-Auto.

“I read what David said, that his mind was elsewhere already, but that’s not the case.

“And the team was great too. They gave us both equal opportunities. It’s always been that way from the beginning.

“And every time improvements are made to the car, it affects both of us at the same time, whereas other teams often do one car before the other.

“So the development stays the same on our side and everyone is as involved as before.

“Lewis wants to have a successful last year with us.”

It has been a rough start to F1 2024 in general for Mercedes, with Russell’s P5 at the opening race in Bahrain serving as the team’s best result so far.

Mercedes sit P4 in the Constructors’ Championship, already 71 points behind leaders Red Bull.

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