Mercedes had a disappointing outing at the recently concluded Azerbaijan Grand Prix. The sprint weekend, which initially promised a lot of action, failed to deliver the same. As a result, the weekend ended on an underwhelming note for the fans, especially the Mercedes fans. Both their drivers, Lewis Hamilton, and George Russell, ended up scoring bare minimum points. But the current W14 is still not where it’s supposed to be.
Nevertheless, the team principal, Toto Wolff, has promised significant upgrades for the upcoming Italian GP. However, an incident during the qualifying session of the Baku race caught the F1 pundit Naomi Schiff’s attention. This weekend had a tweaked sprint format, wherein a separate qualifying session took place for the main race, making sprint a standalone event. Hence, the drivers battled it out on Friday to secure the best starting position on the grid in the main race. However, Mercedes’ young driver, George Russell, crashed out of Q2, outperformed by his teammate, Lewis Hamilton, which raised a lot of suspicions.
Lewis Hamilton Might Have Intentionally Jeopardized George Russell’s Qualifying Session In Baku
During the qualifying session for the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, Lewis Hamilton was accused of potentially hindering the lap of fellow British driver George Russell. The incident occurred during Q2 of the qualifying session wherein Hamilton and Russell, the Mercedes duo, fought hard to secure 10th place and avoid elimination. However, Oscar Piastri, in his McLaren, got a tow from Hamilton and swayed past him to secure P9. This move led to Russell’s elimination from the qualifying session, and he secured P11. On the other hand, his teammate, Hamilton, ended up securing P5 after battling in Q3.
This move by Lewis Hamiton to tow Piastri caused a lot of stir as Sky Sports Pundit Naomi Schiff raised suspicion about it. She said that the Briton’s move jeopardized Russell’s qualifying. Moreover, Lewis might have intentionally made a move to eliminate his competition from his teammate. It’s worth noting that George Russell has been a lot quicker than his seven-time world champion teammate, Lewis Hamilton, this season, which probably prompted the Briton to make a move. However, these conspiracy theories are just conjectures for now and probably stand no ground.
George Russell Blames The Lack Of Pace Of W14 For Disappointing Qualifying
While the conspiracy theories floated around, George Russell indirectly rubbished those conjectures. In the post-race interview, the Briton said his W14 lacked pace in Baku, which led to his elimination in the Q2 of the qualifying session. Moreover, Russell even admitted that he made a mistake at the last corner of his last lap, which also cost him valuable time. Hence, overall, multiple factors led to the Mercedes driver’s elimination in qualifying, and Lewis Hamilton played no part in it.
George Russell gave in a strong verdict on the current state of W14. He said that both the cars would not have been able to break the top 8 mark even if they blew out their engines. The Briton also accepted the fact that it’s just a part and parcel of the fun sport of Formula One. One weekend you secure a podium, and the very next weekend, you end up at P10 in qualifying. Regardless, Russell is confident that his team would make significant changes to gather more pace. And would eventually make a comeback in a few weekends.