Lewis Hamilton warned Mercedes must “keep George Russell happy” at his expense

“They need to keep George happy, and that might come off the back of Lewis not being happy."

Lewis Hamilton and George Russell
Lewis Hamilton and George Russell

Lewis Hamilton has been accused of “spinning” his qualifying woes around Mercedes’ upgrade in Monaco.

Hamilton opted to allow teammate George Russell to run the updated front wing last weekend.

After qualifying behind Russell for the seventh time in eight attempts this year, Hamilton oddly declared: “I don’t anticipate being ahead of George in qualifying particularly, this year.”

Jamie Chadwick noted that Hamilton did not seem happy on Saturday in Monaco.

“He didn’t,” the Andretti Indy NXT driver told Channel 4 after qualifying.

“But I think he knows what he’s doing.

“He’s spinning it, to make it sound like he’s not got the upgrades this weekend.

“I think he should take his hat off to George, who is 7-1 up against someone like Lewis.

“Lewis is probably not happy about that, to be honest. And that’s where that comment has come from.

“Of course, he’s on his way out.

“George is staying in that seat for what they hope will be a long time.

“They need to keep George happy, and that might come off the back of Lewis not being happy.

“He’s doing an incredible job. He’s smashing [Hamilton].”

Fox Mexico journalist Diego Mejia told the F1 Nation podcast: “It’s been a joy to speak to Lewis this year.

“Although he’s not getting victories, podiums or pole positions, he has been quite relaxed. Looking at the bright side, always.

“He has been in that mood until [the Monaco Grand Prix] weekend. He is a little less zen.

“Since he was announced as a Ferrari driver, we knew at some point in the year he wouldn’t be in all the meetings with all the information.

“The normal process that a driver leaving for a rival team faces.

“But Lewis’ message is that this is coming earlier. That’s what it seems from the outside.”

Mercedes trackside engineering director Andrew Shovlin insisted that Hamilton made the decision to let Russell run their only upgraded wing in Monaco “simply for us”.

Shovlin added that the team anticipate having updated wing on each of their cars, plus a spare, in Canada for the next grand prix.

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