SportF1Hamilton offers to give Russell the slipstream: "It's his...

Hamilton offers to give Russell the slipstream: "It's his turn to choose"

The recovery of Mercedes in the 2022 Formula 1 season is being exemplary, and it is that the Germans have gone from suffering from keeping up with the cars in the middle zone in the first race to fighting against the leaders before even reaching the summer vacation, opposing to finish second in the general classification, since they are only 30 points behind Ferrari.

At the last round in Zandvoort they were close to adding their first win of the year, but the tire strategy played a trick on them, so they fell to second place with George Russell and fourth with Lewis Hamilton. Precisely the seven-time champion will have to face a difficult Italian Grand Prix due to a penalty that will force him to start from the bottom of the grid, and it could be a key factor in Saturday’s session for his teammate.

The Monza track is characterized by cars with very low downforce, as they seek efficiency on the straights, where slipstreaming can give several extra kilometers per hour, as well as some other position for the starting grid if done well. It is what Mercedes is studying to do, and surely Hamilton will offer his wake to Russell on Saturday afternoon.

When asked why the Briton replied: “It’s up to George [Russell] to choose this weekend, whether he goes first or second, so he will most likely choose to go behind me. Then I’ll do my normal show and he will have a slipstream.”

Commenting on the young Englishman about the possibility of the seven-time world champion offering him his trail, he said: “If you nail it, it works, but there’s a high risk and a high reward. So it’s not something we put much into. emphasis”.

“In qualifying you learn a lot about the car and the tyres, and that’s clearly been a point where we’ve struggled this year, so for now I think we’ll both go do a normal session.” George Russell commented.

Regarding the results of Mercedes on Friday, Lewis Hamilton did quite well in FP1, finishing fourth less than half a second behind Charles Leclerc, the fastest driver, although his team-mate did even better, who He was third just two tenths behind the Monegasque.

However, in the afternoon session, the most experienced of the duo fell several places to seventh position, eight tenths behind the other Ferrari that dominated in Monza, Carlos Sainz, for which he was asked about the difference in performance between practices.

“We’ve only made a few set-up changes, nothing major, but we were a lot slower, or they were a lot quicker. Given everything, it doesn’t look like we’re particularly quick,” he said.

In the case of Russell , he could have been fifth in FP2, although quite far from the records of the fastest, so if they continue like this, they will have to use the slipstream trick to climb positions on the grid: “I think we are going to having to deal with it to be honest, it was a bit of a weird day.”

“In FP1 we looked pretty strong, but then Ferrari and Red Bull seemed to have taken a step forward compared to us, or maybe we’ve taken a step back as we were behind McLaren in FP2,” explained the Englishman. “So you have to work a little tonight to understand what happened.”

On whether the change in performance was due to modifications to the W13 or track conditions, Russell commented: “Both of us, to be honest, in general we lack a bit of speed, I think we are similar to Red Bull, but Ferrari seems to have the advantage.”

“That can make things trickier in a race scenario as they have a bit more room to play, but it’s going to be something we’re going to have to deal with.”


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