Hamilton hit with ‘penalty’ as Schumacher shares star is ‘seething’

Lewis Hamilton previews 2023 Miami Grand Prix

Former Formula One star Ralf Schumacher believes that Lewis Hamilton was handed the ‘maximum penalty’ by having to make way for George Russell at the Miami Grand Prix. The Brit endured another difficult weekend, being forced to settle for a sixth-placed finish on Sunday night.

Hamilton has made it no secret that he is unhappy with how Mercedes are performing at this moment in time, feeling that there is a growing gulf in speed compared to rivals Red Bull – who are dominating the championship once again with Max Verstappen.

Having struggled on Saturday, Hamilton faced a significant battle to muster up any form of charge for the points. Though after driving into contention, he was handed a significant – and somewhat humiliating – blow when he was asked by Mercedes to avoid holding up Russell.

The seven-time champion obliged, though was keen to add that he wouldn’t do anything to lose himself time. Russell then raced past Hamilton before pinching fourth from Carlos Sainz in what was a smart tactical play by Mercedes.

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Though Schumacher feels that having to ‘step aside’ for his teammate would have been a ‘penalty’ to Hamilton, telling Sky Sports: “Lewis Hamilton is currently going to be extremely seething. He’s not used to not winning. He wants attention, you can always see that in his outfits.

“In Miami, he landed behind his team-mate George Russell. This is a maximum penalty for Hamilton.”

Toto Wolff praised Hamilton for how he obliged to the request though, insisting to crash.net that there was no issue between the two drivers as a result. Asked whether there were any fears that issues would stem from prioritising Russell, the Mercedes chief responded: “Absolutely not. George was a stop ahead. To see two teammates, both on very good levels, they are both so straightforward. That is good at such a difficult moment.”

Reviewing the overall performance of Hamilton, he continued to motorsport.com: “He came from P13 with a car that was really not easy. In the end, he had a really good pace and even overtook a Ferrari. And when you come from P13 sixth that’s very good.”

It remains to be seen whether Mercedes can use the momentum from Miami to improve further ahead of the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, though it is hard to envision the team making enough progress made before May 21 so that Hamilton and Russell can battle it out for the podium finishes.

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