May 10 - The world of Formula 1 is witnessing a changing of the guard at Mercedes this year, according to two former drivers.

Jan Lammers, who is now the Dutch F1 GP boss, thinks 24-year-old George Russell is getting "too little credit" for showing the way to seven time world champion Lewis Hamilton, 37, so far in 2022.

"What is striking is that he squeezes everything out until the finish line," he told NOS. "He doesn't let himself be easily sidelined, both on the track as well as mentally."

Lammers thinks it may simply be the case that Russell is now the faster driver in silver.

"It could be that," he said, "but if that's the case then Hamilton could use a little bit of Russell's mental power.

"The moment you give up, defeat is a fact. And I don't see Hamilton getting his teeth into it yet."

Hamilton's high profile issue over the Miami GP weekend, however, was the FIA's clampdown on the wearing of jewellery in the cockpit.

"I thought it was a bit of a weird reaction," said Lammers. "I've also been stopped by police for speeding and have said 'shouldn't you be catching criminals?' But of course it doesn't work that way.

"Hamilton is taking it too personally. It's not about him or whether he's been doing something for 16 years. It's a safety issue and he has to be open to change."

1997 world champion Jacques Villeneuve was also asked about the Russell-Hamilton dynamic in 2022 and concludes that F1 may have witnessed "the changing of the guard".

"George Russell rides the wave, Lewis Hamilton tries not to drown," he told the Dutch publication Formule 1.

"After many years of winning without competition, it's hard to wake up and realise that it's not so easy. He now has to drive like he did in his first two years in Formula 1, which is what Russell is doing now.

"But Lewis is a racer and a champion and we'll see if he still has the energy to it," said the Canadian.

"I think losing the title last year was a heavy burden that he is still carrying, but you can see from the way Max is driving that he didn't steal the title at all."


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9 F1 Fan comments on “Is there a 'changing of the guard' at Mercedes?

  1. f1award

    Both great drivers and it's good to see Mercedes letting them race unlike some, RB. Can see Russell being a WDC some time soon and will deserve it.

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    • Swede

      George is a lot younger (24, and is very determined), so he can absorb the bumps easier and drive harder.

      I think Lewis (37) is driving through it OK, but slower and just hoping to get back to having a top car.

      I think Valtteri would have done well too, but not as well as George. Glad to see him have success in the Alfa though.

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  2. susan

    Lewis spends too much time dwelling on his mental issues, coulda, shoulda, woulda. He lost his championship last year, get over it. There are no do overs in the life. Maybe he is too old. He devotes his energies, to whining, excuses, complaining and his gaudy jewelry. Give someone younger a chance.

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  3. shroppyfly

    Have any of the other 19 drivers+reserve drivers+test and development drivers,come out and said they suffer with their mental health ?

    I know his other Dad (Torger ) said he has, but any others?

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  4. CanadianEh

    F1 safety has evolved to where drivers actually have a best-before date, they age-out. Sir Jackie Stewart championed better safety both in the cars, and on the course. He was one of the lucky ones who retired a WDC.

    Dame Lucille is a benefactor of a surplus of other peoples brilliance. Certainly, there was a time when he brought focused talent to the show. But, I've watched in dismay as he has single-handedly politicized an already inclusive sport with his woke agenda, and has become a lightning-rod for all the wrong reasons.

    Dame Lucille's devolution has become an embarrassing distraction to the singleness-of-purpose so necessary in the high-energy world of Formula 1. His performance on-track is confirmation.

    Going forward, I would hope to see Mercedes act swiftly and with purpose, to replace Dame Lucille with a driver whose attitude and focus is reflective of the Formula 1 ethos.

    Enough is enough.

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