Dec.9 - Lewis Hamilton has lost his de-facto status as Mercedes' 'number 1' driver in Formula 1.

That is the view of Sascha Roos, the long-time commentator for Sky Deutschland's coverage of the sport.

For 2022, Mercedes replaced Hamilton's teammate of the previous five years - Valtteri Bottas - with the younger charger George Russell.

Mercedes 2022 São Paulo F1 GP Race Debrief

George Russell and Lewis Hamilton on track in the Mercedes W13 during the 2022 São Paulo GP

"I didn't think Russell would score more points than Hamilton in his first year," 50-year-old Roos said.

"I expect more from Hamilton in 2023 but I put it in pencil whether he is the undisputed number 1. I think it's a similar situation at Mercedes now as in the time when Nico Rosberg was next to Hamilton," he added.

Ultimately, the Hamilton-Rosberg situation descended into the destruction of their personal friendship as the latter went on to win the 2016 title.

"In the end last season, it was a clear story in Russell's favour and I think Mercedes handled it very fairly."

However, 37-year-old Hamilton and Mercedes intend to ink a new contract beyond 2023, with team boss Toto Wolff declaring this week: "Lewis is part of the team and the team is part of Lewis.

"There is no reason for that to not continue."

Roos agrees that Hamilton should be offered a new contract for 2024 and beyond.

"He's motivated," he said. "But I don't think there will be a situation between Hamilton and Russell as there was between Hamilton and Rosberg.

"At that time, to the outside world, it was always emphasised that Rosberg and Hamilton were on equal footing. But internally, Hamilton was preferred. In my opinion.

"When Valtteri Bottas came in, Hamilton was the clear number 1 to the outside. But Russell is not Bottas. Russell is more likely to enjoy Rosberg's status."

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8 F1 Fan comments on “Will Hamilton no longer be 'number 1' at Mercedes next year?

  1. CanadianEh

    I fully expect Boi George will be the Number 1 driver at Mercedes in 2023. It's simply a fact of life - he is younger, has faster reactions and is fearless, and less distracted.

    Boi George eclipsed The Dame in WDC points (4th vs 6th). In addition, he brings a refreshing singleness-of-purpose to the race. Lucille is weighed down with his: political baggage (BLM, worldly-angst); fashion designer; movie producer; jaw-dropping entitlement; community activist; tatoo concepts; beads-in-my-hair stuff; and, narcissistic tendencies.

    What's not not love about George?

  2. Blo

    When you have won and almost won so much over 30+ years in motor sport it must be very hard to remain motivated. I suspect a master and protege role with Lewis continuing to fine tune George’s skills in and out of the car and taking the lions share of development driving again.
    Unlike some other teams they obviously get on.

    • shroppyfly

      Yes,about as well The Dame and Nico did, so much so the Dame was kissing Christians boots and everything else to let VB continue, because he was "His best team mate" as I remember, with 24 races there's no development role or time,outside the car King G has the patter King G will be again out to be No 1 from race one, talk sense Man...

      • Donalf

        I'm pretty sure that if GR gets the same package as sir Lulu he will definitely give sir Lulu a run for his money and make him sweat a little,, but it all depends on snidy Tonto if it's going to to be a fair contest. Mercedes were caught ot this year good and proper this year & I can't see that happening again, they'll be on the ball next year that's for sure unless they pull out & I can't see that happening,, roll on next year as I'm bored already.

  3. Senseless Blo

    No simulator work? No set up before every race? No tactics re each other, the team, the opposition, no mental preparation? no physical preparation? And of course he will aim to be number one that’s stating the obvious but that will depend on results. We will have to wait and see.
    One things for sure, there will be more team spirit at Mercedes than RB, Fer, Alp, or AM. I don’t see Checo being a rolling road block for cretin any time soon, more likely to hold him up.


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