Lewis Hamilton receives Mercedes upgrade with George Russell qualifying claim revisited

Michelle Foster
Lewis Hamilton explaining in a press conference.

Lewis Hamilton does not believe Red Bull will fall apart with Adrian Newey's exit

Having proclaimed in Monaco he does not “anticipate being ahead” of George Russell in qualifying much in F1 2024, Lewis Hamilton says he’ll “try” in Canada where he too will run Mercedes’ new front wing.

Eight races into this year’s championship, Hamilton not only trails his team-mate in the Drivers’ standings but also in the qualifying head-to-head where he is down 1-7.

Lewis Hamilton trails George Russell 1-7 in F1 2024 qualifying

Last time out in Monaco, he put his latest qualifying defeat down to the impact of Mercedes’ new front wing, which was only fitted onto Russell’s W15.

The Brackley squad had just one updated front wing and while that was initially billed as a coin toss as to who would run it, Mercedes trackside engineering director Andrew Shovlin revealed “Lewis said” the team should “let George run it”.

Shovlin added: “Lewis made that decision quite simple for us.”

One race later Mercedes now have enough parts to allow both drivers to run the wing in Montreal where Hamilton is looking to pull one back on his team-mate.

Asked if he was ‘going to out-qualify George this weekend’, he replied: “I’ll try.”

As for whether he could bag a first grand prix podium of the season in Montreal, he said: “I don’t think it’s far away.

“And so we’ve got the upgrade. Both cars have the upgrade this weekend. So I’m looking forward to seeing how that feels actually on track.”

The 2024 F1 team-mate tussles

👉F1 2024: Head-to-head qualifying record between team-mates

👉F1 2024: Head-to-head race statistics between team-mates

Speaking about the upgrade and Mercedes’ progress, Hamilton said: “The car’s continuing to improve. I think everyone’s obviously taken a step hopefully closer to the Red Bulls, and I think that’s been really positive.

“But incredibly proud of everyone back at the factory, just how hard everyone’s working and how resilient everyone is. Everyone’s just staying very focused, head down.

“The morale’s really great in the team, so I’m hoping that we can get closer to these guys and start actually competing at the front with these.

He added: “The biggest improvement I think coming into this year has been ride quality and being able to get the car lower, which is what others have been able to do. And then stability on entry of corners.

“The car is far more predictable than it ever was, particularly the last couple of years. And particularly this year, it’s a lot more stable, so we can be more committed into the corners. But then through corner balance is where we’ve been lacking, where some of the others have really taken a big step.

“So that’s what we’re trying to work on.”

Mercedes are fourth in the Constructors’ Championship on 96 points, well down on Red Bull’s 276.

Read next: Uncovered: The new Mercedes W15 front wing with legality wire now removed