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Debate | Is Hamilton unlucky, or is Russell just stronger?

Debate | Is Hamilton unlucky, or is Russell just stronger?

27 May - 22:05 Last update: 27 May - 22:05
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GPblog.com

Once again George Russell finished higher than his teammate, the seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton in practice for the Monaco Grand Prix. Hamilton seems to be behind his younger teammate more often than not. Is it luck, or is Russell just stronger?

Russell performs better in 2022

The thesis after the first free practice sessions at Monaco reads: Hamilton is not unlucky, Russell just performs stronger. Russell is no less than 28 points ahead of Hamilton in the standings after six races. Since Mercedes is no longer fighting at the top for 25 points per race but fights for P5 and P6, that is quite a difference. In the free practices the younger of the two often gets some extra time out of the car and on the track which resulted in more points and one more podium.

Because Hamilton is already a proven force and is perhaps one of the greatest F1 drivers ever, he is still often protected and expected to hit back. But after six races losing out to a much younger teammate may also say something. Hence the question; is Russell simply the better of the two this year?

Is Hamilton unlucky?

That could be possible for several reasons. One is that the W13 is not a smooth car, to say the least, and it could simply be that Russell is quicker or his driving style suits the car better, allowing him to outperform his experienced teammate. Surely a second possible reason is the emotional blow he received from Max Verstappen at the end of 2021. It is possible that Hamilton has not yet overcome this.

We can say with certainty that the timing of safety cars and virtual safety cars hasn't favoured Hamilton. Russell has benefited from some cheap pitstops across the season, which has helped him get ahead of Hamilton. The seven-time World Champion had a crash with Kevin Magnussen through the first sequence of corners in the Spanish Grand Prix. After that, Hamilton demonstrated good pace and had conditions been the same probably would've overtaken Russell. Hamilton and Russell have both started in front of each other three times. The qualifying duel is equal. 

What do you think of the question: Is Hamilton unlucky? Or is Russell performing stronger? Let your opinion be heard in the poll and comment section!

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