Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc says Lewis Hamilton is not driving for the best team “by chance”, while Mercedes’ Ron Meadows thinks Hamilton would have performed better than Russell at the 2020 Sakhir Grand Prix.
Many observers and members of the media love to debate if Lewis Hamilton performs as well as he does only because he is driving the “best car”. After George Russell replaced the Briton at the 2020 Sakhir Grand Prix and almost won the race in his first outing for Mercedes, those same voices started saying this was proof that “anybody” could win in a Mercedes.
This argument is obviously fundamentally flawed, and it is disrespectul to George Russell, who has shown on numerous occasions in the past two years that he is an exceptional driver. Lewis’ rival Charles Leclerc also doesn’t buy into the theory that the seven-time champion wins only because of a superior car.
“I think that his resume speaks for itself,” Leclerc said.
“There are still people that say he drives the best car, but I don’t think he’s in that position by chance.”
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And speaking of the Sakhir Grand Prix, on a recent episode of Formula 1’s Beyond the Grid podcast, Mercedes sporting director Ron Meadows was asked how he thinks Hamilton would have fared at the 2020 Sakhir Grand Prix.
“Hard to say, because Lewis wasn’t there and the plan for that weekend was the same as it would have been for Lewis,” Meadows said.
“It was a different track and Lewis’ natural talent makes him adapt very quickly to a track. His pole position rate is very high, so you would’ve presumed he would’ve been on pole.
“You would’ve presumed he’d have a good start and he would’ve led the race, because that’s what he does most of the time.
“George did a fantastic job that weekend, but you’d have to presume, having seen what Lewis has done for the past decade, he would’ve been down the road a little bit.”