Hamilton must admit Russell is 'better driver right now' – Schumacher

Lewis Hamilton must admit George Russell is ‘the better driver right now’ following his poor start to the new F1 season, claims Ralf Schumacher… with the ex-Williams star insisting he ‘has to ask himself’ why his Mercedes team-mate is ‘so much faster’

  • Lewis Hamilton is enduring a miserable start to the 2022 Formula 1 season
  • The seven-time world champion finds himself languishing down in seventh
  • His 13th-place finish in the Imola Grand Prix on Sunday was the latest low point
  • Mercedes colleague George Russell is 21 points clear of Hamilton up in fourth
  • Ralf Schumacher believes Russell is simply the better driver of the two right now 

Lewis Hamilton has to hold his hands up and admit that Mercedes team-mate George Russell is a better driver than him right now, says Ralf Schumacher. 

Hamilton is enduring a dreadful start to the new F1 season, with his 13th-place finish in Sunday’s Imola Grand Prix leaving him seventh in the drivers’ standings.

Russell, who came fourth in last weekend’s race, currently sits 21 points ahead of the seven-time world champion up in fourth. 

Nevertheless, both Brits are trailing in the wake of leader Charles Leclerc, who occupies top spot after amassing 86 points so far this season.

Lewis Hamilton has been told to admit Mercedes team-mate George Russell is better right now

The pair are struggling to adjust to their heavily ‘porpoising’ W13 car, which has left them well off the pace in their bid to reclaim the championship.

Yet Schumacher, the younger brother of F1 icon Michael and winner of six grands prix for Williams between 2001 and 2003, believes there is a reason why Russell is pulling clear of Hamilton early on in the campaign.     

‘We also have to talk about Lewis Hamilton, of course,’ Schumacher said in his column for Sky Germany.

‘He has to ask himself why George Russell is so much faster than him. A 13th place is of course not Hamilton’s ambition.

Hamilton is currently seventh in the drivers’ standings after his 13th-place finish in Imola

Russell is 21 points clear of his Mercedes colleague, but both trail leader Charles Leclerc

The pair are struggling to adjust to their new heavily ‘porpoising’ W13 car so far this season

‘He has to admit to himself that Russell is the better driver right now. If this continues in the next few weeks, it will be exciting in the team. There could be changes in the ranking.’

Amid his struggles for Mercedes, some have suggested Hamilton missed a trick by not bringing the curtain down on his F1 career at the end of last season.

Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko joked that the 37-year-old should have retired after being lapped by Max Verstappen in December’s dramatic Abu Dhabi finale, saying after the Imola Grand Prix: ‘I mean, he was lapped by us, so maybe he should have stopped last year.’ 

However, Schumacher does not coincide with Marko’s view and insists Hamilton remains ‘one of the best drivers in the field’.    

‘I’m far from saying Hamilton has missed the boat on ending his career,’ he added. ‘Lewis is still one of the best drivers in the field, that is clear.

‘However, the new concepts require drivers to change a bit. Hamilton is not so used to it. Russell, on the other hand, is a young driver. They obviously cope better with it.’

But Ralf Schumacher believes Hamilton must admit that Russell is currently the better driver

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