Sir Lewis Hamilton got a pole position in the Hungarian Grand Prix. It raised hopes for the Mercedes and the star driver’s fans all over the world. Perhaps Hamilton would finally get back to winning ways. Why it grew so much hope? It is because the great Briton has won a record 104 pole positions in F1 history. The Hungarian Grand Prix was his 104th. Fans hoped he could convert it to his 104th race win too. But that did not happen. Moreover, the reigning world champion Max Verstappen won again.
The Red Bull driver successfully maintained his winning streak. On the other hand, Hamilton did not even make it to the podium. But Russell has managed to get only one podium finish this year so far. It came in Barcelona, where Mercedes enjoyed a double podium. Hamilton finished at P2, and the 25-year-old driver got a P3 finish in the Spanish Grand Prix. Since then, Lewis Hamilton has been getting closer to podium finishes, but not Russell. Moreover, Toto Wolff explained why Hamilton is doing better than his younger teammate recently.
Toto Wolff Explained Why Lewis Hamilton Is Getting More Performance From W14 Than George Russell
After the Qualifying session in the Belgian Grand Prix, Mercedes’s boss told Sky Sports that Hamilton is finding it easier than Russell to extract more performance with the rear wing. Lewis Hamilton has the new low downforce rear wing. On the other hand, George Russell is driving with a higher load. They did not have a change of rear wings after FP1. That is making a lot of difference. In the Qualifying session in Spa, Lewis Hamilton was nine-tenths behind the Dutchman. However, Max Verstappen will start from P6 on the final race day in Spa since he received the grid penalty for his fifth gearbox change.
#BelgianGP 🇧🇪: Lewis Hamilton and George Russell will run different rear wings this weekend.— deni (@fiagirly) July 28, 2023
Lewis Hamilton with new low downforce rear wing and George Russell with higher load. They didn’t make rear wing changes after FP1. pic.twitter.com/Ch7cJh6a2s
On the other hand, Lewis Hamilton will start from P3 behind Sergio Perez and Charles Leclerc. He hopes to chase them down but feels Max behind him will be a major point of concern. Moreover, Lewis Hamilton told reporters that he hoped the car would do well in the long run. And he feels it has been a good start to the Belgian Grand Prix. Hamilton’s teammate will start from P8. Hence, between the two Mercedes drivers, there is Max Verstappen as well as the two McLaren drivers.
Mercedes Is Gradually Shifting Focus From W14 To W15
The pace of the two Red Bull drivers and McLaren’s Lando Norris was too much to handle for Hamilton in Hungary. However, Lewis Hamilton is constantly proving that he is doing the best a driver can do with the W14 car. The Brackley team is using W14 as means of preparation for developing W15 for the following year. Gradually, the team is shifting focus to 2024.
Hence, they are constantly introducing new upgrades. But fans wonder if it will lead them to breach the cost cap limit. However, one thing that fans can know for sure is who is finding it more comfortable to drive a constantly evolving car. Lewis Hamilton has been performing far better than George Russell this season. The seven-time champion has got four podium finishes this season already.