Former F1 driver Anthony Davidson argues that George Russell should not complain about Lewis Hamilton receiving preferential treatment at Mercedes due to his higher status.
During the Japanese Grand Prix, the Mercedes duo, in their second season together, had on-track battles. Despite Russell’s request for DRS assistance to defend against Carlos Sainz, Hamilton, with fresher tires, made the decisive move.
Hamilton, who has clinched six of his seven world titles with Mercedes since 2013, still holds a higher status within the team, according to Davidson, and this shouldn’t come as a surprise.
Davidson conveyed his viewpoint on this matter during an appearance on Sky Sports’ F1 Podcast. He said: “There’s definitely a hierarchy in that team and rightly so.”
“Lewis has earned that status in that team as a seven-time world champion and George can’t argue against that.
“George is still the understudy and he’s doing a very good job on those occasions where he’s got the speed over Lewis to really take the fight to him.
“But he’s doing it in such a ‘George Russell polite way’ which is quite humorous to watch because I know inside the car, he’ll be fuming and steaming.
‘And that’s why we see the near misses, the drivers coming almost to blows, almost to contact, but then he’s a good boy on the radio, he’s very British about it.”
In the championship standings last year, George Russell outperformed Lewis Hamilton, and he also secured Mercedes’ sole victory in 2022. This victory came at the Sao Paulo Grand Prix, marking Russell’s first Formula 1 win.
However, this season, Lewis Hamilton has established a substantial 75-point lead over George Russell, and there are still six races remaining in the season.
“He [Russell] knows he’s got the speed, we all see it as well from the outside,” Davidson continued.
“Lewis is getting his elbows out when he needs to. I’m really intrigued by this battle and watching George develop as a driver and watching Lewis in his latter years in his career.”