Damon Hill picks out Lewis Hamilton weak spot George Russell exploits

Hamilton spills more on his F1 future as he makes "no limit" claim

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Damon Hill believes Lewis Hamilton has lost his speed over one lap, pinpointing it as a weak spot Mercedes team-mate George Russell has taken advantage of this season. Russell has had an impressive debut season at the Silver Arrows in difficult circumstances and currently leads Hamilton in the Drivers’ Championship.

Entering the final two races of the season in Brazil and Abu Dhabi, the 24-year-old leads the seven-time world champion by 15 points. Russell’s consistency throughout 2022 has helped keep him above Hamilton, who has rallied to close the gap in recent races.

And Hill believes that while Hamilton’s experience has recently helped him flourish, his youthful team-mate has been better over one lap, which has helped him compete more than the former would’ve wanted.

He told the F1 Nation podcast: “He may have lost his absolute speed over one lap a little bit. George is a bit better at that right now. However, if you look at the races, you will see that Lewis is always the fastest. The young drivers are often fast over one lap, while the experienced drivers are stronger during the race.”

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Jolyon Palmer backed Russell to finish above Hamilton in the drivers’ standings if he remains consistent in the final two Grands Prix of a forgettable campaign for Mercedes.

“I think George will pull it off, but I think it’s mainly because of the lead he already has. There are also only two races to go, so if he stays consistent, then he’s already there. But that doesn’t tell the whole story of Mercedes,” Palmer explained.

However, he believes Hamilton is still the better driver and has started to look more like his sensational self as the season progresses, recovering from a start that made it look like Russell would finish the season out of sight. And if the duo are part of a title fight in 2023, Palmer would back the 37-year-old to come out on top.

He added: “Now that the season has progressed, Lewis is starting to look like Lewis again. People were amazed that George was in front of him, and it looked like he would easily beat Lewis in the first seven races. Hamilton is now really back above his team-mate. If they compete for the title next year, I’ll put my money on Lewis.”

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