Lewis Hamilton’s bad weekend at Imola raised questions about the seven-time world champion’s fitness level, particularly against his Mercedes F1 teammate George Russell.
The latter finished fourth in the Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix, while Hamilton crossed the line in 13th place, after a race during which he was unable to get rid of Pierre Gasly. Just ask yourself a few questions about the origin of the difficulties of the most successful driver in the history of Formula 1.
“He will wonder why Russell is so much faster than him” Former F1 driver Ralf Schumacher told Sky Deutschland. “He has to admit that Russell is the best driver at the moment. If things continue like this in the next few weeks, things will get exciting in the team as well.”
“There may be changes in the pecking order. But I am far from saying that Hamilton has missed the moment of retirement. However, the new cars require a bit of adaptation to the drivers and Hamilton is not used to that.”
Others, like Red Bull consultant Helmut Marko, have speculated that Hamilton should have retired. Jacques Villeneuve wonders if Hamilton will accept an entire season with these difficulties, or if he could leave mid-season.
“This is a question that will be raised” declared world champion 1997. “In the meantime, Mercedes must learn to lose now. George Russell does a good job as an underdog, but he learned it from Williams, while Hamilton has always had something to fight for.”
“At Imola he didn’t seem aggressive enough, as if he couldn’t even fight. It’s not easy to be in command of the Mercedes team right now. Toto Wolff, has to choose between his megastar, his headliner, the international champion record that costs a mega amount of money, or if he develops the car for an emerging talent “.
“Having a big star like Lewis is great if you win, but if you don’t win the backlash is much bigger. A champion has no right not to be competitive. We were surprised in There have been times when champions have said no. I have enough “.
However Hamilton confirmed that, despite the difficulties he is facing, his motivation to make a change in Mercedes F1 is more present than ever, especially as the W13 has great potential once the team has solved the porpoising problem.