Theory behind George Russell getting new front wing over Lewis Hamilton revealed

Why did George Russell get the new front wing over Lewis Hamilton in Monaco?

(L to R): Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 and George Russell (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd
(L to R): Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 and George Russell (GBR)…

2009 F1 world champion Jenson Button has suggested that Lewis Hamilton opted against running the new Mercedes front wing at the Monaco Grand Prix due to being fearful of damaging it.

Mercedes introduced a revised front wing for this weekend in Monaco, which was run on George Russell’s car only.

Russell secured his best qualifying result since the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix, qualifying fifth, beating Hamilton for the seventh time in eight races.

After qualifying, Hamilton suggested there was a clear high-speed advantage from the front wing and he doubts that he will be able to beat Russell again this year.

Speaking during Sky Sports F1’s post-qualifying coverage, Button claimed the decision over who ran the new front wing was decided between them.

Typically, teams tend to give new upgrades to whichever driver is ahead in the standings, so in this case, it would be Russell.

Button said: “From what we’ve heard, they made the decision between them, for who was going to use the front wing.

“Lewis didn’t want to go from qualifying, and possibly damage it, and possibly have to start at the back.”

Given Mercedes only have one specification of this front wing available in Monaco, had Russell damaged it, he would have been forced to change to the old-spec.

George Russell (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W15. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 8, Monaco Grand Prix, Monte Carlo, Monaco,
George Russell (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W15. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd…

If Mercedes wanted to do that, he’d have been taken out of parc ferme conditions and subsequently forced to start from the pit lane.

Former W Series driver Naomi Schiff believes Russell’s superiority at the moment - and being “favoured” due to the fact Hamilton is leaving for Ferrari - is a “tough pill to swallow”.

“Lewis alluded to George having the new component on his car which I think is an interesting factor,” she explained. “Lewis has been the No. 1 driver at that team for many years, he’s the most successful driver in Formula 1 at the moment.

“The psychology behind becoming the driver who is not favoured must be new territory for Lewis. That’s probably a tough pill to swallow. Although I am sure he is understanding of the situation.

“Hats off, not just because he has that component on the car. He didn’t have a smooth run through practice, he didn’t have as many laps as the others. To bounce back is a great job.”

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