Not only losing to George Russell in Miami but having to move over for his team-mate was a “maximum penalty” for Lewis Hamilton who must be “extremely seething”, declares Ralf Schumacher.
Hamilton had a difficult weekend at the Miami Grand Prix as the Briton went from P2 in the opening practice session to failing to make it out of Q2 on Saturday where he finished down in 13th place.
With his W14 coming “alive” in Sunday’s race, the Briton mounted a recovery as he worked his way into the points.
However, on an alternate strategy to his team-mate Russell, it was the 25-year-old who had the better pace in the final stint with Mercedes asking Hamilton to avoid holding up Russell. He gave the okay but added that he wouldn’t be doing anything to lose time himself.
Russell took the position off Hamilton and raced his way to fourth place, passing Carlos Sainz late in the race, while Hamilton finished P6.
Schumacher reckons the seven-time World Champion was smarting over that.
“Lewis Hamilton is currently going to be extremely seething,” he said in his post-race column for Sky Deutschland.
“He’s not used to not winning. He wants attention, you can always see that in his outfits.
“In Miami he landed behind his team-mate George Russell. This is a maximum penalty for Hamilton.”
‘Mercedes need a significant increase, otherwise they have a real problem’
Hamilton finished Sunday’s grand prix over 50s down on race winner Max Verstappen with the Briton saying he wishes Mercedes’ Imola upgrades would be worth one second.
He, however, concedes that’s not possible with Toto Wolff saying while they will be a step in the right direction, they’re unlikely to bring even half a second to the car.
Schumacher, though, reckons if anyone can make a big improvement, it will be Mercedes.
“Whether Red Bull will be dangerous again this season will become apparent in Europe when the many updates come,” he said.
“Where you can always hope is that Red Bull doesn’t get the best out of the car. Then there might be a chance for someone else.
“Especially Mercedes could be expected again after the updates, I don’t trust the other teams that much.
“Mercedes is coming to Europe with a whole new concept. I expect a significant increase, otherwise they have a real problem.”
‘Then it’s not only about the concept…’
And that problem, he reckons, will be more than just the car, it will also relate to personnel.
Mercedes recently reinstalled James Allison as their technical director with Mike Elliott taking on the chief technical officer role.
“Then it’s not only about the concept,” he continued, “but also about internal problems with wrong goals and wrong standards that have been set.”
“But,” he added, “I don’t assume that with the experience that Mercedes has.”
Mercedes are third in the Constructors’ Championship with 96 points, six behind Aston Martin.