Lewis Hamilton mind game theory after “message” to overtaking George Russell

"He wanted to get the message out ‘George, you only overtake me when I’m having a really rubbish race…’"

Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 in the FIA Press Conference. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 9, Canadian Grand Prix,
Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 in the FIA Press Conference. Formula…

Lewis Hamilton accepted blame for a bad race in Canada as part of a mind game against George Russell, it has been suggested.

Hamilton finished fourth, one place behind pole-sitter Russell, on a very promising weekend for Mercedes at the F1 Canadian Grand Prix.

But Russell’s late overtake of his esteemed teammate might be the root cause of an unusual Hamilton post-race quote, it has been claimed.

Hamilton called the Canadian Grand Prix "one of the worst races” he has driven.

F1 Nation podcast host Tom Clarkson said: “Lewis Hamilton was buoyed by knowing that he would have the front wing on his car, which he hadn’t run in Monaco.

“He was buoyed, very quick in practice. It slipped away in qualifying. He said after the race that he didn’t drive a great race.”

Natalie Pinkham replied: “He actually said it was one of his worst races for a very long time.

“Talk about self-chastisement and the blame game!

“Very publicly shouldering the responsibility of that. Was it that bad of a race?”

Clarkson said: “No. But was it partly because George had overtaken him.

“And he wanted to get the message out ‘George, you only overtake me when I’m having a really rubbish race…’

“That’s how I read that.”

Pinkham disagreed: “You are taking too deep a dive into the psychology.

“Whatever he says, people will spin it. They say ‘one moment you blame the upgrades, then you blame the team…’

“No, he’s holding his hands up. Here is a good guy, blaming himself, saying ‘I wasn’t good enough today’.

“I thought it was amazing to hear. Here is a man who doesn’t have anything to prove to anyone and he was still prepared to own it, in that moment.”

Clarkson said: “He doesn’t have anything to prove.

“Yet, on Saturday after qualifying, he was saying ‘I don’t understand why the performance of my car drops away in qualifying’.

“Two weeks earlier in Monaco, the same guy said ‘I don’t think I will out-qualify Russell this year’.”

Pinkham said: “I feel for these drivers! They can’t say anything without being dissected by us! Maybe it’s just a throwaway statement.

“If your worst race is coming fourth? Then things are improving at Mercedes.”

Read More