Lewis Hamilton accused of ‘spinning’ George Russell head-to-head after Monaco upgrades

Michelle Foster
Lewis Hamilton ran the old Mercedes front wing in Monaco

Lewis Hamilton ran the old Mercedes front wing in Monaco

Falling 7-1 behind George Russell in qualifying and blaming that on his team-mate getting Mercedes’ new front wing in Monaco, Jamie Chadwick says Lewis Hamilton is “spinning” the narrative.

Arriving in Monaco 6-1 down on Russell in the intra-Mercedes team-mate qualifying battle, Lewis Hamilton put his latest defeat to his team-mate down to Russell running Mercedes’ new front wing in Monte Carlo.

Lewis Hamilton doesn’t expect to beat George Russell in 2024 qualifying

Qualifying P7, 0.08s down on Russell who was P5, Hamilton said: “I anticipated it would be difficult to outqualify George because he has the upgraded component, but it’s just great to see that we are bringing upgrades.

I already know automatically that I’m going to lose two-tenths going into qualifying. That’s definitely frustrating.”

Going on to declare he does “not anticipate being ahead of George in qualifying particularly this year”, Hamilton was pressed on the claim with a “we’ll see” reply.

But rather than read too much into Hamilton’s comment, Williams development driver Chadwick believes Hamilton is “spinning it” to suit his narrative.

“I think he knows what he’s doing,” Chadwick told Channel 4.

“He’s spinning it to make it sound like he’s maybe not got the upgrades this weekend which for me, I’m not sure about because a team like Mercedes, they generally always bring upgrades to both cars.

“It’s not like they need to split it between the two cars.

“So yeah, I think he should take his hat off to George. He’s 7-1 on someone like Lewis Hamilton, which is incredible.

“And I think Lewis is probably not happy about that, to be honest. And that’s where that comment has come from.”

The 2024 team-mate wars in numbers

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

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

Hamilton did in fact not have the upgraded front wing in Monaco, one report claiming the drivers tossed a coin to decide who would run it, another by Jenson Button saying the seven-time World Champion opted not to as damaging the wing in qualifying would’ve meant a pit lane start as he would’ve had to revert to an old spec.

Chadwick reckons Hamilton best get used to be second on the list when it comes to new Mercedes parts.

“He’s on his way out next year,” she added, “George is going to be staying in that seat for what they hope is a long time so they need to keep that seat and keep George happy.

“And obviously that might come off the back of maybe Lewis being not so happy but at the same time he’s done an incredible job, he’s smashing him.”

Up on Hamilton in qualifying and race stats, Russell is also ahead of his team-mates in the Drivers’ standings with 54 points to 42.

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