George Russell, Mercedes, Monaco, 2024

Hamilton proposed giving new front wing to Russell in Monaco – Mercedes

Formula 1

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Lewis Hamilton suggested allowing his team mate to run the only example of their new front wing design at the Monaco Grand Prix, according to Mercedes.

The team broke with its usual practice of bringing upgrades for both drivers last weekend where only Russell ran their latest front wing specification. Hamilton drew attention to the difference after qualifying, and said he didn’t expect to qualify ahead of Russell again over the rest of the season.

Mercedes’ head of trackside engineering Andrew Shovlin said both drivers had backed the team’s decision to introduce upgrades earlier by not waiting until they had enough examples for each of them.

“We’re looking to have race quantities of that wing in Montreal,” he said in a video released by the team. “Normally you’d say race quantities is at least three because you’ve got one for each car and then you’ve got a spare available should anything happen. We don’t make three in one go, we make the first, then the second, then the third.

“An upshot of that was that we had one that we could bring to Monaco, have it ready for Friday to do the weekend. Now, a while ago, the drivers had said, why do we always wait until we’ve got a full set? Why not just let one of us run it?

“So we agreed with them that, given the situation with the team in terms of performance, we need to improve and we need to learn and it’s actually quite good to have different specs on the car in order to do that. So we did agree with the drivers that where we are now, we will be happy to bring one to the track and they were both happy with that.”

According to Shovlin, Hamilton proposed Russell should have the new front wing first. The team will rotate the privilege between its drivers over the coming races, he added.

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“Lewis said, if we’re going to start doing this where we haven’t got enough parts, let George run it in Monaco. There will be races in the future where we have a single update, and of course, we just alternate, from here on in. But Lewis actually made that decision quite simple for us.”

Although the slow-speed Monaco circuit is a poor venue for evaluating car changes, Mercedes are encouraged by what they have seen from the new wing’s performance.

“There’s a reason teams don’t normally bring update kits to Monaco, which is the very low-speed nature of the circuit, the fact it’s so busy with short straights, it’s very hard to actually evaluate anything,” he said. “All the data we have seen, though, says that it was delivering performance, it was bringing a benefit.

“In terms of how the car was feeling, George was was happy with with that and he could feel that it was a step in the right direction. So we’re definitely happy with what we’ve seen to date. But we will learn more in Montreal and then particularly when you get to a track like Barcelona with a wider corner speed range, you can really start to learn about it there.”

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Monaco, 2024
Hamilton ran Mercedes’ original front wing design…
George Russell, Mercedes, Monaco, 2024
…while Russell had the new version

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Keith Collantine
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5 comments on “Hamilton proposed giving new front wing to Russell in Monaco – Mercedes”

  1. Ah the old throw Hamilton under the bus routine. Predictable work from Mercedes trying to unsettle Hamilton for next season.

    Let’s see how this plays out but keep an eye out for mysterious pace difference between the two again despite Hamilton almost dragging that absolute shed to P2 in the Championship last year.

    1. Hamilton is one of the most protected drivers, almost all of his poor performances are explained away by Mercedes as being due to ‘setup experiments’ or other reasons. Toto comes onto the radio when Lewis is having a poor race and apologises to him personally for giving him a bad car. No other driver has been afforded that luxury. Even Verstappen has been told off by Lambiase on the radio before.

    2. This is why I sometimes feel like I dislike him, also also his fans. It’s a bit like it was with Senna, the whole world conspired against him. No, it didn’t. There are sides of Hamilton I really like, but playing the victim card is not one of them.
      The only truth is that he remained at the team as long as they were the best, which lasted many years and they gave him many titles, and when they needed him the most he decided to look for a better car. And I don’t blame him at all. There’s no need for excuses and conspiracy theories about how hard it was being a Merceses driver. No, it was a privilege.
      He couldn’t score a single win in what was second to third best car (now forth), that’s also on him. Other’s have done it, even Russel did once.

      1. Lewis wants to believe the team is behind him, but its not, and hasn’t been since he skipped the awards ceremony in 2021 and Pirelli have been feeding Max wins (not so much any more it looks like). You guys can try to crawl in his mind as much as you want, but the dude has been ‘blacklisted’ ever since 2021. The ego around people who believe they are ‘king makers’ can be observed from space. He will be lucky to get equal treatment at Ferrari, but like Sainz, he still at least has a shot to win something. Mercedes and Toto and Russell deserve each other. Mid field mediocrity.

        Until Pirelli have to compete with another MFR and until this power unit formula go away, there is too much manipulation in F1. But unfortunately for the fans, this is exactly what guys like Toto and orgs like Liberty want, predictable outcomes and predictable cash flows.

    3. Hamilton’s recent form and mental deterioration should be a big concern for Ferrari, but they have now entered a path of no return. It’s really hard not to feel sorry for Sainz.

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