Hamilton Addresses Speculation About Mercedes's Favoritism Of Russell

F1
Thursday, 20 June 2024 at 19:47
Updated at Friday, 21 June 2024 at 06:56
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Speaking ahead of the 2024 Spanish Grand Prix, Lewis Hamilton addressed his fan base regarding the favoritism claims made on social media.
Following the qualifying session in Monaco, the eighth race of the 2024 season, Lewis Hamilton showed his frustration and said he always loses 2 tenths between the last practice session and qualifying.
He also asserted in a mysterious way that he doesn't expect to finish ahead of his teammate in qualifying this year. This led to speculation that Mercedes might already have favored George Russell over him.
In some ways, it would only confirm what many experts and even drivers said—the German team will eventually have to stop giving the seven-time World Champion sensitive information that he could take to Ferrari next year.
This would translate into an advantage for his 26-year-old teammate. However, some fans accused Mercedes of not giving the two drivers equal cars, and apparently, Russell received a big share of criticism as well.
Speaking to the media during the press day ahead of the tenth round of the 2024 season at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, the 39-year-old driver was asked whether he had something to say to these speculations, and he responded:

"They know that, if you look at the years, we've always been a strong team, we've always worked really hard together. I think it is easy to get emotional; I even commented in the last race, for example, just how I have faults. I think we need support, not negativity."

"I wasn't actually aware that George was experiencing any negativity. George has done nothing but his best every single weekend and delivering for the team, so he can't be faulted at all."

Mercedes's technical director, James Allison, also clarified the two drivers had identical cars every single weekend, except for Monaco- and to give Russell the new front wing, there was Hamilton's choice. The seven-time World Champion added:

"Of course, there are always things that can be better within a team, and that comes through conversations, through communication, and that's what we're consistently working on."

"But we're all in the same boat, we're all working hard together and we all want to finish on a high. We owe that to our long-term relationship."