George Russell has an advantage over Lewis Hamilton, just as Senna did against Prost.

Peter Windsor, a Formula 1 pundit, believes that George Russell possesses an advantage over his Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton when it comes to qualifying, similar to how Ayrton Senna had an edge over Alain Prost during their time together at McLaren.

In his debut season as a Mercedes driver in 2022, Russell performed exceptionally well after replacing Valtteri Bottas. He secured the team’s sole victory, while the seven-time World Champion Hamilton experienced his first winless campaign in his illustrious career.

This trend has continued into the current season, with Russell consistently outqualifying Hamilton in four out of the first five races of 2023.

During the recent YouTube stream, Windsor was asked by a viewer to identify the areas where Hamilton is comparatively weaker than both Russell and his predecessor Bottas. Windsor highlighted Russell’s audacity and precision during qualifying laps as factors that set him apart.

He said: “I don’t think he’s got any weakness compared with Bottas.

“Nothing against Valtteri but I don’t see one area where he was better than Lewis.

“I think George is better than Lewis a little bit in the way that Senna was better than Prost in qualifying sometimes.

“Just incredibly fine, not judgement, but just taking it a little bit further.

“If Lewis is leaving three centimetres, George will leave one-and-a-half on a qualifying lap – and sometimes it’ll result in an error as it did obviously in qualifying for the sprint race in Baku.

“I think it’s just that. I think that’s the way George has always driven. He’s absolutely no margin at all and sometimes it gets the better of him.

“And I think that’s where possibly you could argue he has [an edge] over Lewis, but you could say that’s the quality of Lewis that he doesn’t put himself in that position and he’s more on top of the car and very rarely does he make the sort of mistakes that George does when he’s right on the edge.

“The sort of mistakes Lewis makes are standard mistakes like getting the tyre warm up wrong or traffic, not pacing the traffic correctly, or maybe making a judgement call on setup and the tyre pressure doesn’t go the way they think it’s going to go – things like that.

“But then George makes the same mistakes like that.

“I would say that it’s only that and I still think Lewis has got a wider palette of operational factors that he can play with than George in terms of his natural ability and what he can do with the car over a period of time.”

Between 2017 and 2021, Bottas won 10 races in five complete seasons as a Mercedes driver, while Hamilton won four consecutive World Championships to equal Michael Schumacher’s record of seven titles.

Windsor was adamant that Bottas had never seriously challenged Hamilton, adding: “I don’t see anywhere where Bottas was better than Lewis.

“He beat him sometimes because he had a better setup or the race went his way for some reason.

“Occasionally Bottas outqualified Lewis [but] it didn’t happen very often, did it?

“Usually Bottas was quick but then come qualifying and the track changes and suddenly he lost two or three tenths, but occasionally he was quick.

“I think one lap, new set of soft tyres, Lewis has a slight problem [and] doesn’t get the pressures quite right or whatever, then Bottas was quick enough to beat him.

“But it didn’t amount to much in terms of how you quantify their abilities.”