F1: Russell squashes rumors that Hamilton was handicapped

George Russell has shot down claims that only Lewis Hamilton ran the experimental setups for Mercedes earlier in the season. Earlier in the season, Hamilton was slow at Imola, Monaco, and other races where the former champion was not a match for Russell.

The bias British media tried to make excuses for their ‘pet’ driver saying he was carrying most of the development work experimentation on the car and hence why he was slower than Russell.

Lewis Hamilton at Imola – LAT Images for Mercedes

In an interview with GPFans, George Russell denied those claims and revealed why Lewis Hamilton had to try experimental setups over the weekend.

According to Russell, although both drivers were given the same upgrades and development parts, Hamilton wasn’t truly comfortable with them and hence had to resort to some extravagant setups to make things work. When asked about the aforementioned claims, he said:

“No, that’s not the case. Whenever there were test items brought to the track, it was shared evenly across us both. I think what he probably means is that he was a bit more extravagant with setup items. Whenever there was a development that came to the car, it would always be split evenly. One week it would be me, one week it would be him.”

“I was naturally happier with the car from day one, so I think Lewis was trying more things to try and find the setup that worked for him. I didn’t need to experiment too much because I was in quite a happy place. The pace was relatively strong and obviously, you can only compare yourself to your teammate, and at the start the performance was good. So Lewis had to try these extravagant things to see what worked best for him. Probably halfway through the season he was then in a pretty happy place with the car, but whenever it comes to development items, we share that evenly.”