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Lewis Hamilton

Coulthard offers thoughts on Russell-Hamilton comparison

David Coulthard has thrown his hat into the ring regarding the Lewis Hamilton versus George Russell battle at the Mercedes Formula One team, stating that there is no comparison while the Mercedes is underperforming.

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David Coulthard has thrown his hat into the ring regarding the Lewis Hamilton versus George Russell battle at the Mercedes Formula 1 team.

Many fans are comparing the two drivers, especially as Russell appears to have the upper hand over Hamilton in terms of both qualifying and race results. However, while he believes that Russell is a future World Champion, he is still undecided on who is the better of the two.

According to the Scotsman, while the car is not performing at its best, there is no way to compare the two drivers and any such comparison can not really be made until they are competitive again.

Coulthard: It's two different mindsets, two different phases of their careers

As he explained to media including RacingNews365.com, Russell and Hamilton are in two different mindsets and at different stages of their careers.

"I think George is a future world champion. I think he's a fantastic driver. and I think he's earned that place in the team. But we won't truly know how he compares to Lewis until they have a winning car again, because right now, this is the best car that George has ever driven, relative to where the fastest car is, and this is not the best car that Lewis has driven," he said.

"It's two different mindsets, two different phases of their careers. And that's why right now you go, ‘Oh, George's outperforming Lewis’. Well, let's wait and see when they qualify first and second in whatever order it happens to be just how the running order is then."

The edge that exceptional drivers have

He explained the situation in a lot finer detail and how exceptional drivers, like the ones listed above, are capable of getting more from a faster car while everyone can get similar results from an average paced car.

"I think in my mind's eye, and it remains to be seen, as in when Mercedes delivers a World Championship car again, but the exceptional drivers [like] your Lewis', your Maxs, go back in time, your Schumachers, your Hakkinens, and the like, when the faster the car is, the more difficult it is to drive," Coulthard explained.

"That may seem counterintuitive if you've not done anything more than a better car thing, but they all have the same tyres. So, if you're in whatever the slowest car is, and Montreal was a bad example, because the Ferrari was on the back row, but it's normally that a Williams or a Haas or whoever it happens to be at the moment, you'd think, 'Oh, it must be really difficult because it's not as quick'.

"Actually, the further you were away from the peak of downforce, then everything just isn't running as close to its limit, so the tyres aren't running as close to the limit. So, what tends to happen is when you have a really fast car, exceptional drivers get more out of it. And when you have an average car, it becomes easier for everyone to get something out of it because it's an average car."

Watch the fourth race of the 2022 W Series season live from Silverstone on Sky Sports and Channel 4 on Saturday 2 July.

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