Lewis Hamilton gives blunt reply when asked about George Russell’s ‘podium’

Tensions between Lewis Hamilton and George Russell are seemingly on the rise, after Mercedes claimed fourth and fifth at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.

Sunday’s Saudi Arabian GP was considerably better for Mercedes than the season-opener in Bahrain, with the Brackley-based team having come close to having the second fastest car on the grid.

After starting third, Russell did well to finish fourth at the Jeddah Corniche Circuit, whilst Hamilton finished right behind in fifth.

The result could’ve perhaps been better for the Silver Arrows, though, with Hamilton having been on the best tyre after a mid-race Safety Car.

READ: Will Buxton criticises FIA after 2023 Saudi Arabian GP

Hamilton was the only driver in the top 10 to start on the hard compound, something which ensured he was on a softer compound than everybody else in the second half of the race.

As a result, he was able to overtake Carlos Sainz with ease, before quickly getting right onto the gearbox of his team-mate.

At the time of getting onto the rear of Russell, Fernando Alonso was around two-seconds ahead in third, a gap which Hamilton seemingly had the pace to close.

It was evident at the time that Hamilton was faster, given that he was on considerably better tyres; however, no message came from Mercedes to allow Hamilton to overtake Russell.

Given that the duo were on completely different strategies, Mercedes could’ve comfortably switched them back had Hamilton not been able to overtake Alonso for third, suggesting that the Germans possibly lost a great podium opportunity.

Russell instead opted to increase his pace, something which saw Hamilton remain behind the 25-year-old.

Russell was briefly promoted to third after the race due to a penalty for Alonso, only for the Spaniard to be reinstated to third several hours after the conclusion of the Grand Prix.

It did mean, though, that the post-race interviews occurred whilst Russell was classed as a podium finisher, something caused an interesting moment.

Hamilton was told that he must be happy about Russell finishing on the podium, to which he replied: “That’s got nothing to do with me, but it’s good for the team, sure.”

Perhaps Hamilton feels that a podium was possible for him; however, he did praise his team-mate after the race before the rostrum was taken from the former Williams driver.

“We got some great points as a team,” said Hamilton in the media pen after the race.

“George got third, which is amazing. I went forwards, which is always the hope, to at least go forwards, one foot in front of the other.

“So I’m really grateful to have come from seventh to fifth. Strategy just didn’t really work out for me. Set-up was a bit off. I think if I had the set-up that George had I would have been in a bit of a better position. Lots to work on but there are positives to take from it.”

The 38-year-old went on to reveal that himself and Russell used a different set-up during the race, but that on this occasion he had the wrong one.

Michael #Schumacher would’ve prevented Mick’s Haas mistreatment https://t.co/CaBfGPYAyC — Formula1News.co.uk (@Formula1newsUK) March 20, 2023

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Hamilton bizarrely took another shot at Russell, though, after stating that it’s typically the young Mercedes driver who chooses “the wrong one”.

“We work on that. There was like a 50-50 choice. I chose one way and he chose another,” Hamilton said.

“More often than not, the way [Russell] went is the wrong one. But it just happened to work. So I could only match his pace than be quicker this weekend. But I’ll work hard to make sure we are in a better place next time.”
The post Lewis Hamilton gives blunt reply when asked about George Russell’s ‘podium’ appeared first on Formula1News.co.uk .

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