Karun Chandhok says Hamilton vs Russell “will be fun to watch”

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Former F1 driver Karun Chandhok has put Lewis Hamilton and George Russell in his top five drivers of 2022 list, and predicted an “intra-team battle”.

In his Sky Sports column, Karun Chandhok presented his top five drivers of 2022 list. He ranked Lewis Hamilton at no. 4.

“It’s been a strangely quiet start to the season for Lewis,” Chandhok wrote.

“He was clearly not at all happy with the car in the opening few races and suffered more than George Russell, but once we got to Barcelona and the team started to unlock some speed, Lewis has taken things up a notch as well.

“The qualifying score may be equal, but Lewis has beaten George in the last five races in a row.

“As I’ve said in previous columns, I feel like the post-2018 Lewis Hamilton is different to the one from years before where he’s fully recognised that the points and prizes come in the races and therefore it’s crucial to get the car in the window he likes for the longer stints, even if that compromises his outright qualifying speed.

“He may be 12 points behind George in the points table at the moment, but those dreadful weekends in Saudi Arabia and Imola seem a long time ago.

“This inter-team battle will be fun to watch!”

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According to Chandhok, Lewis’ team-mate George Russell has been the third best driver of the season so far.

“The young Brit has had a stellar start to his time at Mercedes, matching Lewis 6-6 so far with an average of just 0.069 between them in qualifying,” he wrote.

“As a new boy to a team, up against statistically the greatest qualifier of all time, that’s damn impressive. The pole position lap in Budapest was probably the best one we’ve seen of the season so far.

“George’s approach to calmly working through the problems of the temperamental W13 while also being bold to gamble on set ups has received praise from the team.

“There’s absolutely no doubt that if Mercedes have a car that is ready to start fighting for wins regularly, then Russell is ready to deliver those.

“However, his biggest challenge is still the man on the other side of the pit garage,” Chandhok concluded.

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