Unusual Lewis Hamilton trend continues after latest defeat to George Russell

An unusual trend between Lewis Hamilton and George Russell continued at the Bahrain Grand Prix.

(L to R): George Russell (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 with team mate Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1. Formula 1 World
(L to R): George Russell (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 with team mate Lewis…

Lewis Hamilton’s latest F1 qualifying defeat continued an unusual trend against Mercedes teammate George Russell.

Hamilton could only qualify ninth in the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix - which was a major disappointment given his pace in practice, topping FP2.

It was contrasting fortunes for the two Mercedes drivers as Russell qualified a superb third.

It continues an unusual trend between the two Mercedes drivers, stretching back to the start of 2023.

It means that Russell has out-qualified Hamilton at every night time event since the 2023 Bahrain Grand Prix.

The pair were ultimately evenly matched in 2023 in the qualifying head-to-head, 11 apiece at the end of the season.

Russell v Hamilton in night qualifying sessions

2023 Bahrain GP: Russell (6th) - Hamilton (7th)

2023 Saudi Arabia GP: Russell (4th) - Hamilton (8th)

2023 Singapore GP: Russell (2nd) - Hamilton (5th)

2023 Qatar GP: Russell (2nd) - Hamilton (3rd)

2023 Las Vegas GP: Russell (4th) - Hamilton (11th)

2023 Abu Dhabi GP: Russell (4th) - Hamilton (11th)

2024 Bahrain GP: Russell (3rd) - Hamilton (9th)

Reflecting on qualifying afterwards, Hamilton blamed a setup tweak for his deficit to Russell, explaining that he’s focused more on race performance.

He told Sky Sports: “It was not the greatest of feelings. I am excited to be here. I think George’s position and the pace he showed today really highlights and is a testament to the team just how hard everyone is working over the winter.

“It’s amazing to have a car that we can fight with. It really ignites the fire and flame within us drivers. For me, Bono and everyone did a great job. I just struggled with it in qualifying.

“Yesterday was good, George and I were on the same setups and then he went left and I went right. I think right was definitely not good for single lap but I felt more comfortable with more fuel so I hope that reflects tomorrow.”

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