Here’s why Russell got upgraded component over Hamilton in Monaco

© LAT Images for Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Ltd

After Lewis Hamilton revealed that in Monaco Mercedes fitted an upgraded component only to George Russell’s car, some fans suspected favouritism. However, that is not the case.

After the Monaco Grand Prix Qualifying, Lewis Hamilton revealed that Mercedes only brought one upgraded component to the track – a new front wing – and fitted it to George Russell‘s car.

“The team have worked really hard back at the factory to bring an upgrade in the last two races and also an upgrade this weekend – but we only had one, which George has,” Lewis told Sky Sports F1.

“I anticipated it would be difficult to outqualify George because he has the upgraded component,“ he concluded.

This caused some fans to accuse the team of favouring Russell over Hamilton, especially in light of Lewis’ departure at the end of the year.

However, reports that it was actually Lewis’ choice not to get the upgraded component.

“The reality of how Mercedes chose which driver ran the wing was not a matter of picking one over the other,” Jonathan Noble wrote.

“Instead, understands that, with the team aware it would have only one version of the wing, the option of running the new wing was given to both drivers.

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“And it emerged that Hamilton made clear that he preferred not to go with it.

“Firstly, there was the desire to have a more stable platform throughout practice and qualifying so he could build up his confidence around the track – rather than risk switching around configurations.

“Plus, with the new wing being a different specification to the version run so far this season, there was an added risk from heading into qualifying with no spare.

“With parc ferme rules in place, if the wing had been damaged in an incident, then a switch to revert to the other specification would have meant a breach of these regulations – and a pitlane start.

“While Hamilton may have been a bit frustrated by knowing that he had a bit of a disadvantage this weekend, the team is at least sure things will be totally equal next time out in Canada.

“As Mercedes trackside engineering director Andrew Shovlin said: ‘We’ll have that on both cars for the next race in Montreal’” Noble concluded.

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