Swapping places with Hamilton was ‘frustrating’

(Motorsport-Total.com) – For the fourth time in the fifth race, George Russell did better than Lewis Hamilton in a team-by-team comparison at Mercedes. After the Miami Grand Prix in 2022, however, Russell himself says, “There was some luck involved.” Russell came from P12 and enjoyed a long first lap on hard tires and a late safety car phase. That put him ahead of Hamilton.

Lewis Hamilton and George Russell at the Formula 1 Miami Grand Prix in 2022


“When something like this happens, you look like a genius, but that’s how it goes when you use different tactics,” Russell says. During the race, he had spoken out not to change tires too soon in the event of any more incidents. And this calculation paid off.

“There was no need to pit. Then you can stay outside and hope something happens,” said the Mercedes driver. Russell made his pit stop on the 40th lap and then found himself behind Hamilton, who he quickly overtook on fresh tires and then overtook twice, twice.

Why he returned the position to Hamilton

For the first time, Russell slipped off the field because it was “so dirty from the line” in Miami, as he says. “And then we also talk about a corner where you do not really know where the track ends because there is only a white line. But you can see it when you drive [aus dem Cockpit heraus] does not. Strange curve somehow. “

The race organizers intervened immediately: Russell had to give up the position he had won off the track against Hamilton. This “FIA story” was “a little frustrating,” Russell says. By this time he had finally launched an attack on the people in front and had reduced the distance a bit.

“So I had to do it again,” Russell says. And the second maneuver was finally in place, Hamilton was beaten. But the fight was fought with unequal weapons, Russell emphasizes: “Lewis was unlucky [mit der Strategie]. If you drive on 20 laps of hard tires, there’s not much you can do. “Russell’s intermediate tires offered better traction.

Hamilton: No chance to counter

Hamilton himself sees it this way: “George had fresh tires, so I was a bit of an easy victim.” But Russell sold overall well in the Mercedes W13, Hamilton continues. His teammate drove “fantastic” and behaved “reasonably” in the duel with him.

If so, it annoys him the most that he did not also rely on hard right from the start, Hamilton says: “George had the better starting tires. And looking back, hard was the better tire. Maybe we could have started hard too. . “

“But again, George has recovered well from where he started and scored points. And fifth and sixth in the race, those are good points for the team.”

“Mixed feelings” at Russell after P5 in Miami

But Russell has “mixed feelings” about the outcome. Reason: “From Saturday, of course, Sunday is a good result, but if you had told me last Friday that we end on P5 and P6, I would have been quite disappointed.”

For Friday, in the second free practice session, Russell had achieved the best time of the day. However, after changing the setup Saturday morning, he could not find this speed again. Not even after Mercedes had switched back to Friday’s status. “We still do not understand why that was,” Russell says.

Overall, Mercedes also gained “promising” insight into Miami. “There’s still a long way to go,” Russell said. “Because we have a fast race car, but we do not have the key to getting the performance out.”

Hamilton with an early “hit” in the race

Hamilton says his car did not give him the same feeling after an early contact in the race as it did when he drove into the net. He talks about a “pretty hard hit”, but does not know exactly how the scene happened.

Photo gallery: Formula 1 2022 Miami: The most important thing on Sunday

The latter also applies to the situation under yellow when the safety car came out. Hamilton is asked if he should not have also turned to change tires there. Answer: “I really do not know.”

“In this scenario, I have no idea who’s where, so if the team tells me your decision, then I do not have all the information I need to make the decision. It’s the team’s job to take care of it. I do not have the details. You trust the guys for that. “

“Today, however, the decision was handed over to me. I do not understand that. But at least we got points.”

After five races, Mercedes is still in third place in the Formula 1 constructors’ championship. And Russell’s top five series continues after P5 in Miami. In the drivers’ position, he now has almost twice as many points as Hamilton and is in P4.

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