Hamilton, Russell focused on Merc form, not each other

Henry Valantine
Mercedes pair George Russell on slick tyres leads Lewis Hamilton on wets. Monaco May 2022

Mercedes’ trackside engineering director Andrew Shovlin says Lewis Hamilton and George Russell are working together for the betterment of the team instead of one-upping each other on track.

Russell has shown himself to be more than a match for seven-time former World Champion Hamilton in their short time together as team-mates, sitting 34 points above his illustrious team-mate and holding the distinction of being the only driver to earn a top-five finish in every race in 2022 so far.

Hamilton has taken measures to try and experiment with his Mercedes to improve it as quickly as possible, including running a race with extra weight to account for extra sensors to collect more data on the W13.

Russell has been taking different set-up directions of his own, but has appeared to have had the better run of things on track between the two so far.

Most recently, he held off Lando Norris at Monaco to take another P5 finish, while Hamilton was stuck behind the rear wing of both Alpine drivers at different points, leaving him down in eighth.

The two Britons have seemingly struck up a solid rapport as team-mates at Mercedes though, and Shovlin said the pair have been giving their all for the team rather than trying to assert dominance.

“We are all working to try and understand the car and get it in a good window, and this isn’t as easy as some of the cars we’ve had in the past,” he said.

“So I’ve not really been tracking where they are in terms of qualifying, but they are trying different things – but very much working with the team and the engineers to explore different directions  and they have both been really good in that regard.

 

“And they know if the direction they go in doesn’t turn out to be correct, it can cost them on a Saturday or Sunday.

“But it has been really good to see the way they are working together. They are both much more focused on trying to get the car further up the grid than they are worried about whether one’s just a bit ahead of the other or not. And we just need to keep that working relationship going.”

Hamilton insisted the focus at Mercedes is still solely on the W13 at the moment, worrying that switching to the 2023 challenger could see them repeat some of the same design issues that have kept them from competing at the front so far in 2022.