Hamilton takes a smart approach: ‘It looks like he is playing games with Russell’

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Tom Clarkson suspects Lewis Hamilton of playing ‘mind games’ with his teammate George Russell. Clarkson thinks the seven-time world champion is playing sneaky games and is already planting the seeds in Russell by giving him some kind of false hope. Damon Hill, for his part, thinks that Hamilton is just being smart. “Drivers are very competitive and Hamilton knows exactly how to position himself,” he told the F1 Nation Podcast.

This is the second year that Hamilton and Russell have been driving together at Mercedes. During his first year at Mercedes, Russell managed to beat seven-time world champion and his team-mate, Hamilton, in the standings. Russell is also doing better this season, especially in qualifying. Russell is 20 points behind in the World Cup standings, but this is mainly due to the young driver’s DNF in Australia.

Dynamics between Hamilton and Russell are fascinating

Clarkson finds the dynamic between Hamilton and Russell fascinating and wonders if he’s about to see a repeat of history, as he sometimes notices similarities to Hamilton’s relationship with Nico Rosberg. Clarkson thinks Hamilton may already be planting the seeds for the future by giving Russell a false sense of security.

He would have done this, for example, at the press conference in Australia, says Clarkson. “With every question asked of Mercedes after qualifying, Hamilton loved to let Russell speak,” says the Briton. “Russell kind of became the spokesperson for the conversation and it was interesting to see Hamilton just kind of lounge around and allow it. I don’t know if it was a strategy, if he wanted to give Russell more confidence so he doesn’t see it coming if Hamilton suddenly strikes in the future, or if it was subconscious.

Hill: ‘Drivers are especially very competitive’

Damon Hill understands that it can seem like Hamilton is playing games, but mainly indicates that drivers are very competitive and are very busy with their own game. “In addition, Formula 1 is also a political game,” Hill explains. ‘George (Russell, ed.) Has to make himself important to the team and that’s what he’s mainly concerned with, but that means he has to do a lot more work. Lewis (Hamilton, ed.) is already at that point, so can now sit back and watch.’

According to Hill, Mercedes knows exactly what Hamilton has to offer, while Russell has yet to prove it. Lewis (Hamilton, ed.) Can now let his teammate do all the hard work, because that is really tiring for drivers. The fact that George (Russell, ed.) may lose his focus a bit as a competitive driver is only a bonus.’

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