1996 Formula 1 champion Damon Hill says Lewis Hamilton “has been happy to play the guy who tries the experimental set up for Mercedes a bit because he has got more experience with them”.
Lewis Hamilton has been having a harder time than George Russell in the first four races of the 2021 season.
This prompted some observers to criticise Lewis’ performance, especially after he finished the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix in P13, compared to George’s P4.
However, on the F1 Nation podcast, Damon Hill said the difference in results doesn’t say much about their levels of performance.
“George has done an absolutely brilliant job and is looking strong,” the Briton said.
“I think Lewis has been a little unlucky, has been delving around and has been happy to play the guy who tries the experimental set up for Mercedes a bit because he has got more experience with them.
“So, perhaps he has gone the wrong way sometimes and that has made him look worse off than he is against George.
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“But George is definitely doing a sterling job and I think that is a very firm foundation for him going forward.
“He has not humiliated Lewis in any way I don’t think, I don’t see it like that.”
Hill also noted that, as a new guy in the team, Russell naturally needs to show his skills as quickly as possible.
“George is very keen to establish himself and he has to, let’s be honest. The way this game is played, if you have been brought into a team and you don’t show your credentials pretty damn quick, then people start to go ‘not good’.
“They don’t waste any time before they start putting the dampers on someone, so he has done a good job but whether he can keep that up all season, if Lewis finds what he needs from the car, we shall see.”