Russell “should be able to win from that position” after first pole – Hamilton

2022 Hungarian Grand Prix

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Lewis Hamilton believes George Russell can take Mercedes’ first win of 2022 after claiming a surprise pole position for the Hungarian Grand Prix.

Russell pipped the Ferrari drivers by just 44 thousandths of a second to take the first pole of his Formula 1 career.

Hamilton offered his “huge congratulations to George” after the session. “It’s an amazing feeling to get your first pole position,” he said in response to a question from RaceFans.

“It’s huge for us also as a team, we don’t know where our pace all of a sudden just came from,” he said. “It came from nowhere. That’s a huge positive.”

Hamilton will line up seventh on the grid after his final run was spoiled by a DRS glitch. He expects his team mate will be able to deliver Mercedes’ first win of the season.

“I’ll do what I can tomorrow to support him, he should be able to win from that position at this track and I’ll try and work my way up.”

Without his DRS failure, Hamilton believes Mercedes could have taken a one-two finish “for sure.”

“So it’s definitely frustrating to finally, after all the struggle that we’ve had, be able to fight for the front row and not actually be able to do it,” he added. “But there’ll be other times.”

Mercedes did not look like contenders for pole position yesterday when Russell and Hamilton ended practice eighth and eleventh. However Hamilton said their car “was night and day different today” following changes to the W13’s set-up.

The effect of the changes wasn’t immediately obvious in final practice due to rain. “We did a lot work overnight, the guys back in the factory did a lot of work on the sim and we didn’t obviously get to feel it in FP3, but in quali it was feeling racy,” said Hamilton.

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2022 Hungarian Grand Prix

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Author information

Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...
Claire Cottingham
Claire has worked in motorsport for much of her career, covering a broad mix of championships including Formula One, Formula E, the BTCC, British...

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17 comments on “Russell “should be able to win from that position” after first pole – Hamilton”

  1. Lewis playing mind games again by putting pressure on George?
    Instead of “he should be able to win from that position” Lewis could have said something like: “George´s pole gives us hope for a good team result tomorrow”…

      1. LoL – after making a fool of yourself on the grid lineup article with silly assumptions despite not watching qualy, you’re here again. Did you watch this interview?

        1. You mean this part: “we don’t know where our pace all of a sudden just came from”??

    1. Or he meant it as encouraging, saying that he believes George would quite possibly be able to fight for his first win.

    2. You’re obviously reading too much into it. What do you think Russell is thinking right now? Very likely the exact same thing.


    3. Yup. George is going to get punted by Sainz jnr.

    4. I would say Lewis, as a native speaker, is experienced enough to carefully choose his words indeed.

  2. Given the time Mercedes takes to switch the tyres, it’s going to be a challenge. I don’t think Sainz is much of a threat, he isn’t that agressive or fast, but Leclerc is.

    1. yeah merc tyre warming issue is going to be a problem tomorrow for george, lets hope he can keep at least 1 if not both ferrari back

    2. But russell’s advantage is that ferraris can easily battle each other and allow him to pull away.

      1. Esplatore, good point. Whilst I would so like to see a good scrap between the Ferraris, I do feel Ferrari strategists need to say to Sainz that his role now is to give LeClerc every opportunity to win, and for him to keep ahead of Verstappen. So by the end of lap 1, if they are still in qualifying order, Sainz needs to give LeClerc a tow all the way down the straight and then let him through cleanly to attack Russell. If Sainz gets ahead of Russell, he needs to slow the pace down to give LeClerc the best chance to attack. If LeClerc passes Russell early and is getting clear, Sainz needs to say “so what” and still focus on keeping ahead of Verstappen. If he is running third behind Russell, no problem, because that’s another car that Verstappen will have to find a way past later on. The Ferrari strategists should be telling Sainz they don’t care how many cars finish ahead of him, as long as Verstappen is behind him at the end of the race because the only way LeClerc can stay in the race now is by taking big points out of Verstappens lead.

        1. Agreed but this is Ferrari. That wont happen and they will probably battlenandntske each othet out and leave max tonrack up more easy points.

      2. Especially that SAI is ahead.

  3. Easier said than done. I wouldn’t mind him getting a maiden win, but keeping the Ferraris behind over a race distance on pace will be challenging. Concerning Hamilton, perhaps or certainly at least P4 without his DRS issue.

  4. Just hope Mercedes doesn’t keep giving up a second on a pit stop.

  5. Russel should be able to win this race. The track is difficult to make passes on. But not impossible. Also the merc race pace has generally been better than their qualy pace. So from what they know it should be a race win for Russel. The ferraris wont make it easy though. There’s strategy etc.

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