Lewis Hamilton already warned about George Russell threat after attitude problem claim
Lewis Hamilton attitude claims could re-emerge after the Mercedes star received a George Russell warning.
Hamilton opens up on plans to remain in F1 ahead of new season
Lewis Hamilton could be feeling the pressure to better George Russell this season after finishing behind a Mercedes team-mate for just the third time in 2022. And with his contract expiring at the end of the year, previously reported issues could crop up again as Red Bull inherit the Silver Arrows’ dominant mantle.
Both Russell and Hamilton endured problems last season as Mercedes slipped behind Red Bull and Ferrari after almost a decade at the front of the grid.
Russell finished 35 points ahead of the seven-time world champion in 2022 thanks to his consistent top-five finishes, notching Mercedes’ only win of the year.
He continued in the same vein in Bahrain Grand Prix qualifying last weekend, finishing one place ahead of Hamilton in P6.
And speaking exclusively to Express Sport, Sky Sports F1 host Simon Lazenby claimed the reaction would be different if Hamilton finished behind Russell again in 2023.
He said: “I think everything combined in that. Lewis probably wasn’t as motivated as he could have been in the first half of last year.
Lewis Hamilton won’t want to finish behind Mercedes team-mate George Russell again.
“They worked together to develop the car. George was desperate to prove himself, so I think it was a combination of factors Lewis Hamilton was beaten.
“This year, I think if it happens again, it might be a slightly different story. I’ve never seen [Hamilton] look more physically fit. I’ve never seen him more determined.”
In the background of Mercedes’ season, uncertainty over Hamilton’s contract looms as he nears the end of the two-year deal he signed in 2021.
At the time, reports claimed that the Silver Arrows’ co-owners, Daimler, were not happy with his attitude and told Toto Wolff to decide on his future as quickly as possible.
Mercedes will expect another close battle.
F1 news – Lewis Hamilton could quit Mercedes for three teams
Some board members were said to be calling on Mercedes to give Hamilton’s seat to Russell, who was at Williams at the time.
With Russell now on the team, it would be interesting to see the reaction if the 25-year-old finished above the supposed number-one driver again.
Mercedes aren’t expected to challenge for the Drivers’ Championship again this year.
It could prompt Hamilton to make his own decision to walk away if the opportunity to enter a winning car and claim his record-breaking eighth world crown arises.
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