Hamilton on Russell: '50-50 choice, usually he’s wrong, but it happened to work'

Lewis Hamilton has bemoaned his set-up choice at the F1 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix while taking a swipe at Mercedes teammate George Russell. 
Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes
Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes

The seven-time world champion was left seventh on the grid for Sunday’s race in Jeddah after a poor qualifying in which he ended up four places behind Russell, before admitting he “doesn’t feel connected” to Mercedes’ 2023 F1 car. 

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Hamilton made progress in the race - aided by a Safety Car period - to take fifth, though he was unable to find a way past Russell despite having softer tyres at the restart. 

Russell pulled five seconds clear of Hamilton by the chequered flag and finished in P4.

Hamilton ran an alternative strategy by starting on hard tyres but felt it was the wrong call, while he also lamented his choice of set-up direction. 

“We got some great points as a team,” Hamilton told Sky. “George got third, which is amazing. 

“I went forwards, which is always the hope, to at leats go forwards, one foot in front of the other. So I’m really grateful to have come from seventh to fifth. 

“Strategy just didn’t really work out for me. Set-up was a bit off. I think if I had the set-up that George had I would have been in a bit of a better position. 

“Lots to work on but there are positives to take from it.”

Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 2, Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia,
Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 2,…

Asked how much of a say he had on his set-up, Hamilton replied: “We work on that. There was like a 50-50 choice. I chose one way and he chose another. 

“More often than not, the way he went is the wrong one. But it just happened to work. 

"So I could only match his pace than be quicker this weekend. But I’ll work hard to make sure we are in a better place next time.” 

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