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‘Worried’ Lewis Hamilton Leaves George Russell to Race the New Front Wing at Monaco GP

Nischay Rathore

‘Worried’ Lewis Hamilton Leaves George Russell to Race the New Front Wing at Monaco GP

For a change, Mercedes is having a pleasant outing with the start of the Monaco GP weekend. More specifically, the reason behind it is Lewis Hamilton and his performance alone. The Briton topped the charts in the first practice session and came in second behind Charles Leclerc by two-tenths in the second session. The 39-year-old managed to deliver such a fine performance because of his cautious approach.

After catching the attention with their front wing design on the launch, Mercedes did the same in Monaco. The team is fielding an upgraded design.

However, they prepared just one and had to choose between George Russell and Hamilton to field it. The seven-time champion made the decision easier for the team by backing out. There is, however, a clever reason behind his decision. Ted Kravitz was quoted by Sky F1 as explaining,

“There is only one…and they agreed between George and Lewis that George would run it, because George was happy to and Lewis was worried, so the team say, about the risk of damage between qualifying and the race.” He added, “If they had to change it, they’d have to change it to an old spec and that would require a pit lane start.”

The gulf of performance between the two drivers comes as a surprise, though. With Russell running the upgraded front wing, he should have been the one leading his teammate. However, the 26-year-old has only managed P3 and P10 finishes in the first two practice sessions.

Monaco is a track with shorter straights and twisty sections. The nature of the track further raises the importance of the front wings to give the drivers a stable platform to make steady turns.

A surprising change in Lewis Hamilton’s approach

Mercedes is going through the worst start to a season they have ever endured. In the middle of it all is Lewis Hamilton who made every effort to lead the team out of the slump. That shows in his readiness to experiment with the setups and provide the team with some crucial data points.

That often came with the risk of him slacking behind. The prime example of the sacrifice came in China where he qualified on the front row for the Sprint.

Hamilton finished P2 after keeping the threat from Sergio Perez at bay. He looked to be on the right path to repeat the result in the main race. However, a failed experiment with the setup cost him dearly. After qualifying in P18, Hamilton finished the race in P9 with just two points to his name.

The lesson in Shanghai may have led him to stay away from the front wing upgrade in Monaco. With George Russell running the new part, the team will gather some crucial data. Perhaps Lewis Hamilton will switch to it once the package proves to be worth it.

Post Edited By:Vidit Dhawan

About the author

Nischay Rathore

Nischay Rathore


Nischay Rathore is an F1 journalist at The SportsRush with over a thousand articles under his belt. An avid Ayrton Senna admirer, Nischay embarked on his sports journalism journey despite completing graduation in Law. When not covering the high-speed thrills of the pinnacle of motorsport, he can be seen enjoying crime thrillers and 90s gangster movies with a hearty bowl of buttery popcorn.

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