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George Russell

Russell denies theory behind Hamilton gaining upper hand

After seeming to have a slight edge over Lewis Hamilton in the earlier stages of the season, George Russell is now 37 points behind his teammate in the World Championship standings.

Russell Hamilton Miami GP 2023 Mercedes
To news overview © XPBimages

George Russell has denied that there is any link between Mercedes' updates and Lewis Hamilton appearing to gain the upper hand over him in recent Formula 1 races.

With the Silver Arrows facing a difficult start to the season due to struggles with the W14, the margins have been fine between both drivers.

However, Hamilton seems to have taken the momentum as the campaign has progressed, particularly since the team introduced upgrades to the car in Monaco.

The seven-time World Champion has outscored Russell in the last three events and now sits 37 points ahead of him in the World Championship standings.

When asked if there is a connection between the updates and Hamilton's performance, Russell suggested that this is coincidental.

"I think it's pure coincidence. I think it's very fine margins," Russell told media, including RacingNews365.com, ahead of the Austrian Grand Prix.

"I think out of all the teams on the grid we’re statistically the closest of everybody in terms of teammates. Lewis is obviously a very strong driver."

Comparison to 2022 situation

While 2022 was also a challenging year for Mercedes, Russell believes that there are some differences with the intra-team battle.

"It's funny, I think at the start of last year, I think Lewis was on a higher level than I was, yet I was well ahead of him in the championship," the Briton added.

"And now this year, I think we're at a very close level [but in the championship] I'm 40-odd points behind him. Ultimately, that's the only thing that matters.

"We're going into this weekend and we'll see what we can do but certainly the last couple of races haven't been the best run of form for me.

"But [it's] history now and let's see what the upcoming races bring."

F1 2023 Austrian Grand Prix RN365 News dossier

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