Lewis Hamilton has admitted that he feels like the number two driver compared to teammate George Russell after a season so far of iffy performance from the Brit and his Mercedes W13. But the Spanish Grand Prix showed fans some of Hamilton’s best driving so far, with him being knocked back to 19th at the beginning of the race but finishing P5. Despite this, Russell has given reliable performance all season, finishing no lower than P5 in all of the races so far.
In a pre-race conference with Hamilton and Russell, the pair were asked what qualities made Hamilton a great leader. He was the first to respond:
“Well, firstly, I wouldn’t say I’m the leader,” he admitted. “George and I work equally hard together, I would say, to help drive the team and row just as hard as everyone else in the team.
“But through adversity and challenging times you always learn more about yourself, how you deal with things, how you reflect on things, how you are able to turn negatives into positives.
“I wouldn’t say I’ve learned particularly much more, so I will say past experiences have helped during this phase. And I would say to just reassuring the strength I know I have mentally.
“Also, just reassuring us I still love my job, I still love the challenge even if it’s not fighting for wins. I’m still enjoying this battle we are having internally in terms of trying to, with the car I mean, trying to chase down these other guys.”
Russell added that he is inspired by Hamilton:
“I think that’s been one of the big things I’ve seen with joining Mercedes, seeing how Lewis does things, how Toto [Wolff] does things, the culture that’s ingrained within everyone,” he said. “It’s sort of relentless.
“They are always striving for more, never being complacent and seeing how everyone’s pulling together at the moment to try and resolve these issues we are facing, it inspires and it’s also motivating for myself because you learn how the best in the business do it and you need to continuously push yourself for more.
“So I think I’m in a really privileged position to be team-mates with Lewis and be part of Mercedes.”