‘Stumbling’ Lewis Hamilton warned Mercedes team-mate George Russell is ‘different calibre’

George Russell joins Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes

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Mercedes star Lewis Hamilton has been warned his new teammate George Russell is a ‘different calibre’ by former Formula 1 driver Timo Glock. Hamilton has struggled in 2022 after agonisingly missing out on the world title last year, with the Brit sitting in sixth in the Drivers’ Championship while Russell is in fourth.

Russell has finished in the top five of each of the opening seven races of the season so far, and is not only the sole driver to achieve such a feat, but the Brit is also the only driver on the grid to finish every race inside the points. The 24-year-old has outclassed Hamilton at most races in 2022 and is leading the qualifying head-to-head 5-3 while he is 7-1 ahead of the 37-year-old in race finishes after only losing to him at the opening Bahrain Grand Prix. 

Hamilton finished on the podium that day with Russell in P4, and the Mercedes newcomer has achieved three podiums since the opening race. As Red Bull achieved a straightforward one-two at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix last weekend, Russell secured a third podium and finds himself 37 points clear of Hamilton in the championship.

Russell is also just 17 points behind Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc, who emerged as a genuine contender to Max Verstappen’s world championship crown. Glock, who left F1 in 2012 with three podiums to his name, is concerned about the form of Hamilton as the seven-time world champion finds himself in others’ wake – a very different situation to what he will be accustomed to.

Glock is intrigued to see how the relationship between Hamilton and Russell evolves as the season unfolds. It will be particularly interesting to watch if Mercedes sort out the porpoising issue that has plagued their season, and they return to competing for wins.

“You can hear it in his voice on the pit radio that certain things don’t make him happy,” the former Toyota and Virgin driver told Auto Bild. “Things are just not coming together this year.

“It’s like a chain reaction, and then even a Lewis Hamilton starts to stumble. I also think that a lot is going on in his head because he hasn’t been exposed to such a situation yet.

“Actually, he had his team-mates pretty much under control – but George Russell is a different calibre. It remains to be seen how the whole thing will develop when Mercedes maybe starts competing for victories again this year, which I think they will.”

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Mercedes boss Toto Wolff emphatically refuted suggestions Hamilton has lost his form since the conclusion of the 2021 season, regardless of his deficit to Russell. Speaking to Channel 4, Wolff said: “I think as long as the car is not good enough to really be racing at the front, the differences are small and I don’t think you can have a pattern saying ‘George is continuously outperforming Lewis’ or the other way around.

“We have seen Lewis in Barcelona, he was the genius that we know.”

Hamilton was believed to be an injury doubt for the next round of the F1 season after he suffered back discomfort in Baku thanks to the aforementioned porpoising, the bouncing issue the octuple world champions have struggled with all season. However, the Brit confirmed he will take part this weekend.

The 22-race F1 2022 campaign continues with the Canadian Grand Prix around the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve on June 19.

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