George Russell Dismisses Claims of Lewis Hamilton’s Breakthrough with Upgraded Mercedes

George Russell has refuted suggestions that Lewis Hamilton is finding more success with the upgraded Mercedes W14, stating that his teammate “is still struggling” despite recent improvements in results.

Since Mercedes introduced a major upgrade package in Monaco, Hamilton has outqualified Russell in all four races and achieved consecutive podium finishes in Spain and Canada. Meanwhile, Russell faced challenges, being eliminated in Q2 in Barcelona and crashing early in the race in Montreal.

However, Russell believes that Hamilton’s improved performance is masking ongoing difficulties with the car. After finishing eighth in Saturday’s sprint race at the Red Bull Ring, Russell expressed his perspective on Hamilton’s comfort level with the revised car.

“I don’t think so. It’s just one of those things, you sort of get into a bit of a groove, a bit of a rhythm,” Russell told Sky Sports F1. “Lewis is still struggling a lot with the car. I think it’s just more that I’ve taken a bit of a step backwards.”

Acknowledging his own challenges with the car, Russell mentioned that he had some ideas about the reasons for his recent struggles. He expressed optimism for the upcoming race at Silverstone and the opportunity for a fresh start to regain his form.

Russell admitted he has faced difficulties in qualifying, struggling to get the tires in the optimal performance window. He noted that even Ferrari, who showed strong pace on Friday, experienced a significant drop-off in performance during Saturday’s qualifying session in Austria.

The British driver emphasized the fine margins and challenges faced by all teams in Formula 1. He highlighted the limitations of not being able to analyze the tires further, as Pirelli retains control of the product.

Despite starting from an unfavorable grid position, Russell remains optimistic and aims for a strong result in the Austrian Grand Prix, targeting a top-five finish.

The ongoing battle between Russell and Hamilton within Mercedes continues to unfold, with Russell striving to regain his previous strong form and Hamilton aiming to maintain his recent successes with the upgraded car.