Ralf Schumacher believes that Lewis Hamilton has been the "biggest loser of the season so far" due to how he has fared against his new Mercedes teammate, George Russell.
Russell has finished ahead of Hamilton at all but the first race of the campaign, with the younger driver consistently finishing in the top five at every Grand Prix.
While Russell currently sits fourth in the World Championship standings on 99 points, Hamilton is in sixth with 62 points to his name.
Schumacher finds Hamilton's deficit to Russell "worrying"
Schumacher has been surprised by how the battle between Hamilton and Russell has played out so far.
"Lewis Hamilton is the big loser of the season so far," Schumacher wrote in his column for Sky Sports.
"George Russell joined the team at the beginning of the season and is usually ahead of the World Champion and stronger in qualifying.
"The 'greatest driver of all time', as Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff always calls him, is being ironed out by a newcomer in a way that is already worrying.
"I am amazed, because there are only two possibilities: Either Russell is the new high-flyer, or Hamilton has had such a strong car in recent years that has made up for a lot."
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Hamilton should focus on teammate battle before bouncing, says Schumacher
Both Hamilton and Russell spoke of their struggles with bouncing following the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, with Mercedes calling for solutions to be found for the issue.
Hamilton appeared to be particularly affected, having experienced back pain during the event. However, Schumacher believes that the Briton should focus more on the fight with his teammate than on this problem.
"As for the bouncing issue: you can have those problems, but Russell was in the same car and George looked rather fresh to me after the race," the former F1 driver commented.
"Lewis should look to be faster than his teammate first. I'm sorry for Lewis that he has back pain, but other teams are getting that problem under control as well.
"I don't know if Lewis sits more upright in the car and therefore feels the blows in his back more. If he sits more upright, the load on his lumbar spine would be much higher and would explain his pain."
F1 Podcast: How worried should Ferrari be by their mechanical woes?
RacingNews365.com F1 journalists Dieter Rencken and Michael Butterworth are joined by Julien Simon-Chautemps as they question how concerned Ferrari should be after the Azerbaijan Grand Prix.