Mercedes: What’s gone wrong at the F1 and can they recover?
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Lewis Hamilton is not ‘fired up’ just scoring points says four-time champion Sebastian Vettel who has questioned the Briton’s motivation for continuing in F1. The Aston Martin driver claimed he would be ‘surprised’ if Hamilton was as happy as in previous seasons where he was winning races.
In comparison, George Russell is finding Mercedes’ current pace ‘amazing’ after years spent struggling at Williams which may explain his better start to the season. Speaking to the Press Association, Vettel said: “When you get to know the sport in the way I have done, and Lewis has done, winning and being at the top is what you strive for.
“Does it excite you to finish eighth, or 12th or 13th? No it doesn’t, when you know you have been first so many times – and in Lewis’ case more than any other guy. George (Russell) comes in. He spent three years at Williams suffering to death at the rear of the field, scoring the odd point, and then suddenly he is eighth or 12th and life for him is amazing.
“Everybody is different, but you need to be fair from the outside and say, look, is Lewis naturally going to be as fired up about finishing eighth as George probably is? No, and I would be surprised if he was.”
Hamilton lies sixth in the drivers’ standings, 75 points behind championship leader Max Verstappen. Team-mate Russell has also had the better of Hamilton this season and sits 34 points ahead and fourth in the championship.
His consistency has been unparalleled, finishing in the top-five at every race this season to leave him just 41 points behind. Hamilton’s future in F1 has been one of the biggest points of discussion this season with many critics suggesting he should quit.
However, the seven-time champion addressed the rumours head-on after the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix. He posted a message on social media claiming he would only decide when his masterpiece was finished.
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He also claimed it was not in his DNA to quit despite the difficult start. Hamilton explained: “I’ve been with Mercedes since I was 13. We’ve had amazing times together. We’ve ridden the highs and lows together.
“I am 100 percent committed to this team. There’s nowhere else that I want to be. Just because we’ve hit a rough patch, it’s just not in my DNA to back out.”
Ahead of the Monaco Grand Prix, Hamilton silenced his critics with a simple four-word response: “Why should I stop?”
He added: “Let’s take this season: I probably won’t win the title, but I feel the same pleasure of competing as when I started. Maybe one day I won’t be able to take the pressure anymore, I’ll be tired, but that day hasn’t come yet.”
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