Transcript: “I need more power” – Hamilton and Russell’s contrasting fortunes at Imola

2022 Emilia-Romagna GP team radio transcript

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The two Mercedes drivers lined up 11th and 14th on the grid for the Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix, but finished much further apart.

George Russell made a strong start, picked up another couple of places and coped with a set-up imbalance as he clale
Meanwhile Lewis Hamilton was unsuccessful in his attempts to breach the top 10 and ended up stuck in queue of cars, ruing a lack of straight-line speed which made it difficult to overtake.

Their conversations with their race engineers throughout the afternoon reveal how their races unfolded, and also their contrasting styles on the radio. Russell had an almost continuous back-and-forth with his race engineer, Riccardo Musconi.

In contrast Hamilton’s exchanges with Pete Bonnington were much briefer. This reflects the difference between Hamilton in his 10th season as a Mercedes driver and Russell only in his fourth race for the team. The newcomer often prompted Musconi to confirm whether he was managing his car the way the team wanted him to.

Hamilton and Russell’s Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix team radio

Russell got away well and profited from the first-corner collision between Carlos Sainz Jnr and Daniel Ricciardo, moving up to sixth place. Although Hamilton also moved up thanks to the chaos, he lost a place to Lance Stroll who lined up behind him.

Lap Speaker Message Speaker Message
1 Bonnington So Safety Car, Safety Car, staying out, keep the delta positive. So strat one, got Sainz in the gravel turn three. Get on that delta. Musconi Safety Car, stay out, stay out. Delta positive. So currently you are P6. Strat one.
1 Bonnington Lewis, any feedback on track conditions? Musconi So we’ve got Sainz in the gravel at turn three. So it will go on for at least two laps.
1 Hamilton It’s still very wet mate. Musconi Don’t let the tyres get cold. Keep those brakes happy.
1 Bonnington Okay, Roger just try and keep as much temp as possible. Russell Fronts seem okay at the moment, right?
1 Hamilton It was hectic into turn one, mate. Musconi So Sainz the gravel turn three on the outside.
1 Bonnington Yeah, copy. Sainz on the left-hand side turn three in the gravel. Russell Safety Car needs to go as fast as possible in these conditions.
1 Hamilton What position am I? Musconi Understood. We’ll report.
1 Bonnington Currently P12. Musconi Tyres are losing a bit of temp, do what you can. Brakes looking good.
1 Musconi We could do with more rear brake temps as well.
1 Musconi Green 12 position four.
2 Bonnington So we’ll be going around once more. Musconi So let us know if that car is being moved. We can’t see much action from the crane so far.
2 Musconi Keep working the fronts.
2 Russell It’s basically off the track now. Front tyres or front brakes?
2 Musconi Front brakes. So the car has been shuffled away.
2 Musconi So it looks like it won’t be this lap.
2 Russell Are you happy with this many burn-outs?
2 Musconi Affirm.
2 Musconi So it will be one more lap.
2 Musconi You could do more on brakes, both ends.
2 Russell I’m on it.

Ahead of the restart, Russell was surprised to note how Charles Leclerc, two cars ahead of him, was treating his tyres.

3 Bonnington Safety Car will be in this lap. Musconi Safety Car in this lap. Everything you can on tyres.
3 Hamilton Turn five and six, a bit of a dry line. Similar through nine. A little bit through the middle of 12. Musconi Green 12 position three.
3 Bonnington Okay copy. So leader has control. So you can go strat mode five and overtake is available. Russell Interesting Leclerc is cooling his tyres. I have no temp in my tyres.
3 Bonnington Safety Car at turn 17. Musconi So Safety Car is at turn 14. It’ll be strat five. You have overtake for the restart. Safety Car at 15. So now Verstappen has got control he’s at 15.
3 Bonnington Safety Car is in. Musconi Safety Car now at 16. Safety Car at 17. Safety Car at 18.
3 Musconi Safety Car in the pits, be on your toes.
4 Musconi So gap ahead and behind 1.2. Won’t be DRS in these conditions.
5 Musconi Green 12 position one, green 12 position one.
5 Russell Is it in?
5 Musconi Affirm, yes, it’s in. So you keep up to date with the conditions out there.
5 Russell Sector two’s almost dry, so far. Just sector one, turn one-two-three.
5 Musconi Strat six.

Russell quickly found his way past Kevin Magnussen, while Hamilton was boxed in behind the Aston Martin ahead of him.

6 Bonnington Think about coming down on HPP 12 if you need it. Musconi So gap ahead and behind 1.8 Verstappen, the leader 30.1.
7 Bonnington Think about driving off-line to keep the tyres cool when you need it. Russell When do we start cooling tyres?
7 Bonnington Losses to George, initial braking turn 14, turn 17. Musconi Affirm, start looking for water off-line.
7 Musconi And George is all right-hand-side tyres, the left are good.
7 Musconi Gap ahead 1.3, behind 2.7.
8 Musconi Keep cooling right-hand-side tyres where you can. So tailwind at five kilometres into turn two. Prepare a green nine change, green nine.
8 Musconi Gap ahead 0.7, green nine position three.
9 Bonnington HPP nine position five when you can, Nine position five. Musconi Consider diff mid one.
10 Hamilton [Unclear] with the tyres?
10 Bonnington I think others are just mostly managing with the temps. Front-right maybe.
11 Bonnington We’re seeing peak temps at turn seven. Just think about management there. Updates on track conditions? Musconi Overtake.
11 Hamilton Still very damp mate. Musconi You have DRS. Er, you have overtake. DRS not activated yet.
11 Musconi Magnussen still the car behind.
12 Hamilton The pressures are real high. Musconi So Norris five seconds ahead. Magnussen 0.4 behind.
12 Russell [Unclear]
12 Musconi And let us know about dry conditions.
12 Russell [Unclear]
12 Musconi Gap behind 2.2. Norris, 32.9 free air.

George Russell, Mercedes, Imola, 2022
Bottas hunted Russell down
Now running in free air, Russell felt more confident with the conditions and urged his team to consider taking the opportunity to be one of the first to put slick tyres on, and potentially make up places. However Mercedes were concerned he would immediately emerged in traffic if they did.

Russell couldn’t understand why other drivers behind him were reluctant to take the slick tyres. “I was asking to go slicks three laps before we boxed but nobody else was pitting,” he said.

“I would have just come out in the middle of the pack behind guys on intermediates. So I don’t know why nobody else at the back was taking the gamble because, for me, it was clear slicks I think three laps before I pitted.”

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13 Bonnington Stroll ahead saying his tyres are starting to drop off. Musconi We have EB2 to help front right.
13 Russell I don’t think it’s far off, to be honest.
13 Musconi So it’s a good time to go strat six.
13 Russell [Unclear] a lot of grip.
14 Musconi George please verify if you lost a lot of grip or you’ve got a lot of grip.
14 Musconi Lost a lot.
14 Russell I think we can go this lap.
14 Musconi Understood.
14 Russell But we don’t need to be the first, I don’t mind.
14 Musconi Affirm.
14 Musconi So George we will be staying out.
14 Musconi Nobody on slicks yet.
14 Musconi So, George, a lot of traffic in our pit window so we’re going to go another five laps.
15 Bonnington And remember to drink. Russell Understood.
15 Musconi Remember to drink.
15 Russell It’s dry. If it wasn’t for the traffic I’d box this lap.
15 Musconi So you’re pulling two seconds a lap on of the cars in your pit window. So it will clear soon.
16 Bonnington First car in the pits for medium tyres. He’s in last position at the moment. Musconi George, we still have Gasly in our window. It’ll be four laps.
16 Bonnington Let us know what you think about the change to dries. Musconi So Ricciardo first car in for medium.
16 Hamilton Still too early, unfortunately. It’s not far off though. Musconi He was at the back of the pack.
16 Musconi So you can open diff entry to help with balance.
17 Bonnington And if you can go menu wet one. Looks like we have reached the transition so George in this lap. Musconi So push hard now.
17 Hamilton It’s still very slippery out here mate. Musconi Green 12 position three, green 12 position three.
17 Bonnington Copy Lewis. Ricciardo is faster so we will box, box. Box, box. Musconi Blue 14 position one, blue 14 position one and box box box.
17 Bonnington So box, we have your pit confirm. Musconi Give us a pit confirm, box box box.
17 Musconi It will be slippery into the pit lane. Slippery into the pit lane. Box is slippery. Go clutch position shallow. You’re going to be on a medium.
18 Hamilton Everyone’s in, man. Musconi Side by side with Valtteri down the pit lane. You’re going to be racing cars on exit.
18 Bonnington So caution as you leave. You’re okay. Musconi All clear on exit. Diff entry up.
18 Bonnington HPP 12, position four. Musconi Diff high speed to nine, you’ve got Perez 19 seconds up the road.
18 Musconi So Norris very likely will box this lap, he was six seconds ahead of us.
18 Musconi Norris is at pit exit. He will have warm-up.

Russell still changed tyres earlier than Lando Norris ahead of him, who he briefly closed on when the McLaren driver switched rubber the next time around. He was satisfied with the team’s decision not to bring him in sooner.

“I would have came out in P13, I think, in a load of traffic of intermediate runners. We were pulling in two seconds a lap on these guys, you needed them to pit to clear up the space for us to pit.

“I was shocked when nobody else went sooner, it was really strange because it was clearly dry.”

However one setback during his pit stop affected the rest of his race. Mercedes were unable to increase the front wing flap on his car, which was necessary to correct its balance for the move to slick tyres. He was told soon after he rejoined the track.

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19 Hamilton How many positions have I lost now? Musconi Race situation you are P5. Bottas dropped 10 seconds with a pit stop.
19 Bonnington So we’re now P14. Musconi So advise strat five, Norris eight seconds ahead.
19 Musconi So, George, we didn’t get the flap adjust so you’ll be very shy of aero balance. That was the gun failing.
19 Russell Understood.
20 Bonnington And you’re the fastest man on track. Musconi So you’re purple sector two. Norris seven ahead. Norris 25.6, still going through warm-up.
20 Bonnington Check diff entry, it’s in error. Ricciardo’s the car behind at 1.0.
21 Musconi George we’ve got 41 laps to go. So expecting when the rear’s coming in the front will be the limitation.
21 Musconi You’re already in green 12, it will be green 12 position one.
22 Russell How are front brake temps?
22 Musconi Brake temps are good. So race situation, Valtteri is 12 second behind with a train of cars behind him.
22 Musconi Brakes are fine, braking for nine is good.
22 Musconi So a good time to go strat six. Same pace as Norris ahead. Gap at six seconds.
23 Musconi It’s 40 laps to the end, four zero.
23 Russell I have under-rotation into 12 this lap.
23 Musconi George, wind picking up a 10 kilometre tailwind into two.
24 Russell Are you happy with diff high speed? Starting to understeer.
24 Musconi Yeah, we are happy with that. It will be a front limitation.

Meanwhile Hamilton had lost another place in the pits to Esteban Ocon. The stewards judged Alpine had released their driver unsafely in front of the Mercedes and gave him a five-second time penalty, though this was only added at the end of the race and he continued to circulate ahead of the Mercedes.

Hamilton was finding it difficult to attack any of the cars ahead of him, saying his car was too slow on the straights. He queried why race control hadn’t activated DRS at this stage in the race, something other drivers also asked about on their radios.

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25 Hamilton There’s nowhere to pass on this wet track. Russell Feel like I’ve got a lot of brake fade into turn 17.
25 Musconi Understood.
25 Musconi Two tenths quicker than Norris, keep chipping at it.
25 Russell I don’t care about pace at the moment I want to give the tyre [unclear].
25 Musconi Affirm [unclear].
26 Bonnington Okay copy that. Go HPP12 position one.. Musconi So Norris is managing his tyres.
28 Hamilton They should open the DRS by now. Musconi So similar pace to Norris still. Main losses to him five and six and 11 and 12.
28 Bonnington Okay copy, we’ll chase it. Russell [Unclear]
28 Musconi Copy, we are slightly quicker in a straight line.
28 Russell Fronts.
28 Musconi B mig five can help 17 18.
29 Hamilton I am so slow on the straight, mate. Musconi Norris at 21.7. Bottas 21.9.
29 Bonnington Copy Lewis. Gasly may have battery issues, unsure. Russell Would you like to me to push or manage?
29 Musconi We want to manage it.
29 Musconi 33 laps end of this one.

With more than half the race still remaining, Mercedes’ concern for Russell was to keep him ahead of the driver who occupied his cockpit last year, Valtteri Bottas. Following a slow pit stop due to a temporarily cross-threaded front-right wheel nut, the Alfa Romeo driver was closing in.

Russell, meanwhile, was struggling more due to his shortage of front downforce. “It was doubly difficult because I was already struggling with a lot of understeer on the intermediate,” he explained, “so I would have wanted to make a big step initially for that and then another big step for that inter-to-slick change.”

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31 Musconi Same lap times to Norris and Bottas. They are stable.
31 Musconi Go EB4 if you need more rotation.
32 Bonnington DRS has been enabled. Russell Are you sure you’re happy with brake balance?
32 Musconi We are happy with brakes. Can we have a bit of lift-and-coast for fuel saving. So hottest place turn 17.
32 Musconi An update on wind still 10 kph tailwind into turn two.
33 Musconi DRS has been enabled.
33 Musconi Remember to drink. So with the temperatures we are seeing, there will be very little wear. 29 laps to go.
34 Russell I’m starting to get an increase in the understeer. Keep me posted on your views on the management.
34 Musconi So the level of lift-and-coast last lap is perfect to get to the end of the race.
34 Russell I would like to do more lift-and-coast now to be in a better place at the end of the race.
35 Musconi We are happy with that.
35 Musconi Diff entry one is available.

Hamilton’s pace was badly compromised, and he soon got a call he did not want to hear: Race leader Max Verstappen, his former championship rival, was coming by to lap him.

36 Bonnington You’ve got Verstappen race leader at four seconds behind. Musconi Norris ahead 21.4, he’s got a tow from Ricciardo.
36 Musconi Bottas also 21.4 gap behind 10 seconds.
36 Russell On my pit board [unclear]
36 Musconi So target pace 21.7.
37 Musconi 26 laps to the end.
37 Musconi So target 21.6.
38 Bonnington And we have a blue flag Verstappen at 1.3. Musconi This pace is good.
38 Musconi So Valtteri 20.9. Target 21.2.
38 Russell [Unclear]
38 Musconi We’ll come back to you.
39 Bonnington Blue flag Verstappen. Russell I would go a lot quick with no [lift and coast]. It’s still saying minus 12 [unclear].
39 Musconi Copy that. Gap behind 9.5.
39 Russell [Unclear]
39 Musconi Green three, position one, green three, position one. ACS off.

As the race drew towards its final phase, Russell was growing increasingly concerned about his tyres. “That front-right was just falling to bits, it was so far out of bed on the set-up.”

He asked the team if it would be possible to make a pit stop at the end of the race, but they were wary of surrendering places to their rivals.

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40 Russell [Unclear]
40 Musconi Gap behind 8.7.
40 Musconi So a very small level lift-and-coast required.
40 Musconi So Valtteri 20.8, we need to be three-tenths slower at least, 21.1 pace.
40 Russell I have a load of understeer. Can we go for tyres at the end?
41 Musconi So we’ve got three cars in our pit window. At this pace we’ll clear them only around the last lap. Stopping would lose position to Valtteri.
41 Musconi Ricciardo two seconds ahead. He’s a backmarker.
41 Musconi You need to be within 1.2 to get the blue flag. Gap 1.5.
42 Musconi Gap 1.4.
42 Musconi Gap 1.2. They’ve got blue flags.
42 Musconi George, give us a lap to show us what your pace is.
43 Bonnington Lewis can you go HPP3 position four when you can. Russell I can’t go that much quicker because of the understeer.
43 Musconi Affirm.
43 Musconi So behind Bottas, 17 seconds, we got Vettel, Magnussen, Tsunoda in our window.
43 Russell I can see the inside shoulder front-right [unclear].
43 Russell Copy.

Russell was told he would have to tough it out until the end. Meanwhile Hamilton was also entertaining similar thoughts about an extra pit stop.

44 Hamilton Nothing good. Musconi So, George, the best option is defending with Valtteri to the end. You have both your windows.
45 Hamilton How many laps left, mate? Musconi 18 laps to the end.
45 Bonnington It will be 16 laps. Musconi Gap to Valtteri 5.1, he still goes through Ricciardo.
45 Bonnington We’re going to have Perez and Leclerc coming through soon. You’ve got Perez 2.5. Russell Are you happy with my [unclear] deployment? Or we need some [unclear] for the end?
45 Musconi So we are OK with fuel to the end.
46 Musconi Tyre temps are still in a good place, we can push them hard later.
47 Hamilton This car is something else, man. Musconi So 16 laps to go. Gap behind now is Bottas 4.5.
47 Bonnington Copy Lewis. We have blue flag, Perez, 1.1 behind. Musconi Let us know how the tyres are on the blue switch.
47 Bonnington Blue flag Perez. Musconi So the gap behind Valtteri is still 17 seconds.
48 Bonnington Got Leclerc behind at two seconds.
48 Musconi So target pace -0.2 on your dash, just stay ahead.
48 Musconi And for dry, shift is green 13 position seven. That will help also with fuel.
49 Hamilton If we pit can we jump any of these guys? Musconi That’s green position seven.
49 Bonnington Stand by, we’re looking at it. Russell The tread looks very thin, the inside shoulder.
49 Musconi Understood.
50 Musconi Gap behind at 2.4, Valtteri’s pace 20.8.
50 Russell Update on wind.
50 Musconi So still the same five kilometres of tailwind into two.
50 Musconi And still stopping not an option, we’d lose position also to Vettel and Tsunoda.
51 Musconi 12 laps to go. Gap behind…
51 Russell Are we inside the VSC window?
51 Musconi Affirm, you are in both windows.
51 Musconi So don’t worry about using the tyres, you have 19 seconds behind Valtteri.
52 Bonnington Maybe debris exit of the chicane, turn 15. Musconi Gap behind 1.7.
52 Russell [Unclear]
52 Musconi Affirm.
52 Musconi Gap 1.5.
52 Musconi Double yellow, double yellow ahead, Leclerc spun at the chicane.
52 Musconi Leclerc four ahead.
53 Musconi Gap behind 1.7.
53 Musconi Gap 1.6.
53 Musconi Gap behind 1.4 Green three position two, more performance.

As Bottas closed on Russell, Mercedes became increasingly wary of the Alfa Romeo getting within DRS range.

However Hamilton was finding his DRS was of little use in attacking the cars ahead of him, as they were also able open their rear wings. He told his team he needed more power, and did not agree with their suggestion he wasn’t activating their ‘overtake’ boost as early as was possible.

54 Bonnington So we’ve got Verstappen… Russell You don’t need to tell me the gap if he’s not in DRS.
54 Hamilton I need more power, guys. Musconi Gap 1.3.
54 Bonnington So Lewis we’ve got Verstappen again, 1.6 behind. Musconi Gap still 1.3, remember you have strat five when you’re going to need it.
55 Bonnington Blue flags for Verstappen at 1.0. Musconi You’ve got eight laps to go, eight laps.
55 Bonnington Lewis, there is a little bit of scope to press the overtake a bit earlier. Russell Let me know gap entry of 15.
55 Hamilton Trust me I would press it earlier if I could, I’ve got no grip out here. Musconi Gap 1.1.
55 Bonnington Okay copy. Musconi Gap second he should not have DRS.
56 Musconi Gap one second.
56 Musconi He will have DRS.
57 Musconi Gap still one second.
57 Musconi Gap 0.7.
57 Musconi Gap 0.6.
58 Bonnington Lewis, maybe a little bit of rain at the end of the race, the last couple of laps, it will be approaching from the turn seven region. Musconi Forecasting light rain on the last two laps, coming at turn seven.
58 Musconi Gap 0.6.
58 Musconi Gap 0.7. Fuel safe to the end.
59 Musconi Gap 0.7.
59 Musconi Four laps to go.
59 Musconi Gap 0.7, use more de-rate where possible.
59 Musconi Gap 0.7.
60 Hamilton [Unclear] Musconi Gap 0.6.
60 Bonnington So we’re only going to get one more lap, Lewis. Musconi Keep using that de-rate button it will protect you into two.
60 Musconi Gap 0.6.
60 Musconi Still 0.6.
61 Musconi 0.6. Got two more laps.
61 Musconi Getting low pack. As much de-rate as you can.
61 Musconi Gap 0.5.

Having been lapped, Hamilton took the chequered flag on the tour before his team mate. Russell had picked up another position thanks to Leclerc’s spin, and successfully held off the charging Bottas to the end of the race. The mood was very different on the Mercedes drivers’ radios as they drove back to the pits.

62 Bonnington Okay Lewis another rough day in the office I’m afraid. Musconi Final lap. Can use it.
62 Wolff Lewis, hi. Sorry for what you have needed to drive today. I know this is undriveable. And not what we deserve to score as a result. So we’ll move from there, but this was a terrible race. Musconi Still need some de-rate after this, same as previous laps.
62 Hamilton Yeah no worries Toto. Let’s keep working hard. Musconi Gap 0.8.
62 Wolff Yeah we will come out of this. Musconi Gap 0.7.
62 Bonnington Can you go strat more one please mate.
63 Musconi Well done there. I don’t know how you got it. P4.
63 Russell Ah great job guys. That was so difficult with that front wing. Very good recovery. Sunday is when it matters. Good job.
63 Musconi Green one position 14.
63 Russell Are we good for fuel?
63 Russell We’re fine, we’re find.
63 Wolff George, well done. We’re missing that front flap, but considering that you really held on well, congratulations.
63 Russell Thanks Toto.
63 Musconi So final order, Verstappen and Perez, they stopped a second time for softs. Norris, yourself, Valtteri, Leclerc, Tsunoda, Vettel, Magnussen and Stroll finishing P10.
63 Musconi So you’re coming into the pit lane.

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2022 Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix

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34 comments on “Transcript: “I need more power” – Hamilton and Russell’s contrasting fortunes at Imola”

  1. Russell: You don’t need to tell me the gap if he’s not in DRS.
    Musconi: Gap 1.3.

  2. I see George never complained about porpoising during race. It sounds like it was so damaging physically from the interview.

  3. lifting and coasting during a race like that….

  4. I need more power, guys.

    – They need less drag. Simple as that.

    I wonder what Russel’s pace could have been had he gotten the flap adjust for the aero balance. Understeer is one way of destroying the front tyres but protecting the rear tyres. They needed more oversteer in this race with the conditions. Keen to see how they perform at Miami, but the porpoising needs fixing. Otherwise, they will have body pain after races.

    1. Russel’s pace would be where it should be – right after Ferrari and the RB, 3rd fastest car on the grid.

  5. “Think about driving off-line to keep the tyres cool when you need it.” “Losses to George, initial braking turn 14, turn 17.”

    Is this coaching still allowed? I thought these kinds of instructions have been prohibited since mid-2015.

    1. Coaching was only disallowed for like a year

  6. Jelle van der Meer (@)
    26th April 2022, 17:13

    16 Hamilton Still too early, unfortunately. It’s not far off though.
    17 Hamilton It’s still very slippery out here mate.
    17 Bonnington Copy Lewis. Ricciardo is faster so we will box, box. Box, box.

    Considering where he was, given his experience and track record in the rain very surprising that Hamilton actually didn’t want to pit for slicks.

    14 Russell I think we can go this lap.
    14 Russell But we don’t need to be the first, I don’t mind.
    14 Musconi So George we will be staying out.
    14 Musconi Nobody on slicks yet.
    14 Musconi So, George, a lot of traffic in our pit window so we’re going to go another five laps.
    15 Russell It’s dry. If it wasn’t for the traffic I’d box this lap.

    Compare that to Russell who wanted to come in already 3 laps before and probably should have pitted a lap earlier than he did as he would be faster like Riccardio and could have gain places even in traffic

    1. Hamilton has no confidence in his car.

      Sounds like in addition to the porpoising (or perhaps because of it) the Mercedes can’t generate temperature in the tires.

      1. I honestly think the difference in performance between Rus and Ham at the moment is all to do with confidence in the car. Hamilton has been driving a very well sorted car for the best part of a decade now whereas Russell has been driving a dog for all his F1 career.

    2. Don’t forget hamilton tends to stay on intermediate longer than others, take a race like singapore 2017, he’s usually one of those who change intermediates the latest, also goes for turkey 2021.

    3. @jelle-van-der-meer
      Not surprising at all. Lewis has never had that feeling of where and when to switch tyre, which tyre to be on, which was exposed by Jenson Button in particular in the past.

      1. @stn
        While that was the case when he had Button as teammate, it hasn’t been for at least as long as since 2014. That Button represents the peak where this skill is concerned served to conceal HAM’s progress while they were teammates. With the advent of the hybrid era, it became clear that HAM had decided this was one of the areas in which needed to focus and improve. The results of his calls on when to switch rubber and his overall understanding of tyre management are now quite impressive. Imola was more an indication of his lack of confidence in the car. The difference between RUS and HAM in the onboards from the race are striking indeed. HAM is almost bouncing and the smoothness evident as recently as last year is replaced with fidgeting. One of HAM’s greatest strengths is an almost otherworldly ability to sense and adapt to the most subtle of changes in grip (see, for instance, preeminent driver coach Rob Wilson’s assessment).

  7. Damn, Max Verstappen lapped Lewis, pitted and lapped him again. That’s got to hurt.

    1. Yeah, it was funny how they kept getting the camera angle to show Max approaching and then fixing on Horner and Toto’s faces as he passed. Priceless.

  8. I’ve been wondering if the last couple years of experience for each could explain their current performance? Lewis has been used to having the best car in the field and driving it like he wanted, while George is used to adapting to a poor car to get a better-than-expected results.

  9. You can tell quite clearly from the tone of their words that George is pumped up and ready to motivate the team in any way he can. He’s invested in the race and everyone else. …You certainly won’t find him asking if you get a point for tenth…

    Ham on the other hand just sounds defeated all the time now. It’s not a good attitude from someone who should know better and won’t be welcomed by the same team of super hard workers who’ve allowed him to get six titles.

    As they say, the true mark of a man is what he does when he’s down. And this is not the fake, “yeah Red Bull are too fast for us man”, knowing full well they can turn the engine up to 11 on race day. This is REAL now for Lewis and his reputation hangs in the balance.

    1. ThreePurpleSectors (@)
      26th April 2022, 22:22

      When you’re a black person in predominantly white spaces, displaying your full range of human emotions is a dangerous risk. You’re constantly under the microscope and if you point out to your white counterparts that your words or actions get different responses, they’ll come up with XYZ reasons to dismiss it. Hamilton knows there are people salivating for the moment they can label him the angry uncooperative black man.

      Since the season began LH has been nothing but positive yet some how you are reaching to find him as negative. Do you see what you’re doing or do you think everyone else is just naive?

      1. It appears you either stopped reading after his first sentence, or didn’t bother to consider what he said before you replied.

      2. Ah, the “criticism of Lewis can only be racist” excuses didn’t take long.

        How about people are just calling it as they see it? How about Lewis is under the microscope because he has over 100 wins, 7 titles and has been the dominant personality of the last 10 years?

        No, can’t be that. Must be racist.

    2. How is his rep in the balance? He’s a 7 time world champion with over 100 race wins. The nearest guy out there has 4 and 40ish. All drivers go off at the end of their career. We’ll see if this is time for that to happen to Hamilton or now, but his rep has been made long ago.

      1. His rep has been made with a dominant car, what exactly has hamilton done without? You’d have to look at the mclaren years, where he wasn’t more impressive than alonso in general.

        1. ian dearing
          27th April 2022, 9:48

          So your point being Ham as a F1 rookie was only as good as a 2 x WDC at the top of his game.

        2. He beat Alonso in his rookie season, you know, that Alonso that a lot of people consider an all-time great.

          He’s won races EVERY season he’s been in F1, even when he hasn’t had a dominant car, ie 2007-2013.

          Those who hate Hamilton push the narrative it’s all about the car, when the facts clearly show it isn’t.

          EVERY driver who is considered one of the great drivers, had a dominant car for much of their careers, the top teams want the top drivers.

          1. Did he beat Alonso? I thought they finished on the same points. The irony is Alonso would have probably won the title that year if he didn’t hold Lewis up in the pit box at Hungary.

      2. The validity on just how good he is/has been is in the balance as it has always been pitched that he is the reason for Merc’s success (Mostly by his fans, just go back and read endless articles on this site to confirm this, But that is how fans are, we all do it).
        That GOAT argument is now being shattered by the change in stance that it is now suddenly a Team failure, where it was always Hamilton’s success. The view of Hamilton’s achievements is now slowly being recalibrated with the inclusion of an element of reality.
        As I said in previous: success is relative to the competition (Teams) at the point in time. GOAT is just not a real discussion. The GOAT (Driver) may not ever have even won a race, who knows? All we can say is that Hamilton is the most successful of all time (That’s statistical fact, Doesn’t matter what you think of him), but does not necessarily make him the Greatest, Damn, he has been/is good.

        1. If the rest of the field were a tenth slower than this exact Merc, everyone would be saying how great the car or Ham’ is and Ham’ would become 8 times champ and the GOAT argument would be louder. It is, always has been and always will be relative.

      3. johnandtonic
        27th April 2022, 8:08

        The media’s view of LH reputation is clear given their adulation. While the media enjoy a “fall from grace” narrative I don’t see that happening.

        As for the fan view, some prefer to focus on numbers/stats, others a deeper look at the circumstance during the era while others still look at the different challenges a driver faced across eras. All are valid if debated in good faith although there are many subjective areas.

        I am not convinced that his reputation will change as most sides seem well entrenched.

  10. Thank you for this fascinating analysis!

  11. I wonder if any of the other 19 drivers out there would like more power?

  12. This car is something else, man.
    — Hamilton at lap 47

    The car lacks power; has a lot of drag; can´t warm up its tyres properly.

    Mercedes failed miserably this year. It’s time to admit it and move on.

  13. Wellbalanced
    27th April 2022, 13:32

    I love these articles- brilliant. Thank you

  14. greasemonkey
    27th April 2022, 15:44

    The lesson here is similar to 2009 Brawn. Style matching with cars matters. A lot. Even to world class drivers.

    Early 2009 season favored gentle style, with tires and double diffusor being what it was out of the box. Late 2009, frankly, had Barichello doing better than Button, when more aggressive style was necessary to make things work (tires in particular).

    If you watched only the early season, you’d say Button was better than Barichello. If you watched late season only, you’d say the opposite.

    So even across many seasons it can be difficult to really figure out who is “better”, or even what “better” really means at all.

    So I watch racing because racing is cool, fun, and I am addicted to it in real life. I don’t worry about who is better.

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