July 24, 2024
Lewis Hamilton

George Russell outscored Lewis Hamilton during his inaugural season with Mercedes.

Lewis Hamilton has admitted that he was in a no-win situation at Mercedes last year following George Russell’s move to the Silver Arrows. The 38-year-old was beaten on points by his team-mate in the Drivers’ Championship standings, with his sixth-placed finish marking the worst result of his time on the F1 grid.

Russell also managed to win Mercedes’ only race of the year in Brazil, while Hamilton was unable to claim any Grand Prix victories for the first time in his career. He also struggled to get to grips with his car, with Mercedes having slipped down the pecking order following the widespread regulation changes at the start of last year.

Hamilton has since explained that he was in an unenviable position at Mercedes alongside Russell, comparing the situation to when he was Fernando Alonso’s team-mate at McLaren but insisting that this time, the shoe was on the other foot.

“George had nothing to lose and everything to gain,” he told M4 Sport. “If he finished behind me they would say ‘well you finished behind a seven-time world champion’ and if he finished ahead then ‘you’re a legend’. I know exactly what that feeling was like and I had exactly the same with Fernando.

Lewis Hamilton
Lewis Hamilton has opened up on the struggles of racing alongside George Russell last year (Image: GETTY)

“If I finished behind him they would say ‘we expect that it’s your first year’ and if I finished ahead of him, I was great. But of course, when you’re then struggling with the car and not feeling you’re able to extract your full potential it was not easy. It was stressful.”

Lewis Hamilton has performed better this time around, with the Brit currently leading Russell by a margin of 49 points in the Drivers’ Championship table. He will be desperate to maintain his advantage until the end of the season in order to avoid being beaten by his Mercedes team-mate for the second year in a row.

He went on to explain that many younger drivers are better-equipped than his own generation thanks to the use of modern technologies that were not available to Hamilton when he first came into the sport.

The 38-year-old believes that many younger drivers are better-equipped to thrive in F1 than he was (Image: GETTY)

“I think the biggest difference is that they are always simulating,” he said when quizzed on the emerging crop of talented drivers such as Russell, Lando Norris and Oscar Piastri. “There’s the Playstation, we didn’t necessarily have that when I was a kid. This is a new tool that we do not have at our disposal.

“In terms of the generation, we have great talent here and I find that very exciting. It’s exciting to watch their journey. I’m in it too, but I follow it from a distance, and I can really relate to what they’re going through. And it’s really cool to race against these young and fast colts.”

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