Formula 1

Mercedes F1 News: Strategy Director Compares Lewis Hamilton to George Russell After Difficult Season

James Vowles, Mercedes‘ strategy director, has delved into the differences in overall performance between Lewis Hamilton and George Russell in 2022. Despite Russell’s impressive record at Williams, there was some uncertainty about whether he would be able to hold his own against a seven-time World Champion in the same equipment. However, the 24-year-old proved his mettle over the course of the season, consistently delivering strong performances that were reflected in his final points total.

Vowles attributed the performance gap between the two drivers to a variety of factors, including the level of experience and the specific driving styles of each individual.

2022 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Sunday – Jiri Krenek

Hamilton, with his seven World Championship titles and over a decade of experience in the sport, has a level of confidence and race craft that comes with years of success. He also sacrificed early success to test new concepts for the failing W13. On the other hand, Russell is still relatively new to the sport and is still learning and developing his skills, so putting him in a more tried and tested car meant he was able to quickly grow his confidence behind the wheel of the Mercedes machinery.

Vowles said:

“I think, on the whole, it doesn’t really take us to tell you this, but George did a very good job this year. 

“He is against the best in the world, and that’s your reference. 

He continued:

“What is very clear is that at the beginning of the year, when we had a car that was difficult, Lewis was using his wealth of experience to help us in order to improve the car and really move us forward as a part of the team…

“His qualifying pace, I think, is within a tenth of where Lewis ended up. His race pace was very, very strong throughout the year.”

2022 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Sunday – LAT Images

Both drivers fared well in 2022 despite the lacking performance of their cars, and both were able to add value to the team which must be appreciated. But with Mercedes reportedly making significant improvements for the W14, 2023 could be a very interesting year.

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