Lewis Hamilton ‘frustrated’ as Mercedes favour George Russell over him | F1 | Sport

Lewis Hamilton grinned as he admitted he expects his Mercedes team-mate George Russell to keep outpacing him in qualifying sessions throughout 2024. The Briton also says he’s “frustrated” which comes after the Silver Arrows favoured Russell over him at the Monaco Grand Prix.

Hamilton, 39, will leave Mercedes at the season’s end while Russell represents the future of the Silver Arrows. Russell has outshone the seven-time world champion in qualifying this year, having secured a higher grid position than Hamilton at seven of the eight races so far in 2024.

Russell’s latest success over his countryman came in Monaco, where he clinched the fifth-fastest time, once again edging out Hamilton. Yet the veteran pointed out after that Russell benefits from an upgraded vehicle.

Despite showing promising pace in practice, Hamilton was left puzzled by his lacklustre performance during the crucial qualifying session. He openly expressed his frustration at not being able to translate his early weekend form into a better starting position on the grid.

He said: “It was looking great yesterday and we’ve really been working hard to improve this car. From the get-go it felt great and we were obviously competitive yesterday and this morning. We didn’t make any drastic changes or anything like that.

“We only had one upgrade, which George has, so I always knew it would be difficult to out-qualify George because he has the upgraded component. But it’s good to see we are bringing upgrades.

“But once we got to qualifying, I don’t understand…

“I automatically know I’m going to lose two-tenths going into qualifying. That’s definitely frustrating and something I don’t really have an answer for at the moment. I’m not driving any different and the laps were really great.”

“We’re a lot closer this weekend and it’s really great to see. The car is feeling great, so much better than previous years. But still three and a half tenths is a lot here and that’s still six tenths elsewhere.

“So we still are off pace wise but we’ve just got to keep pushing and we’ll slowly get closer through the year as more upgrades come.”

Russell’s track performance has outshone Hamilton’s this year, and Hamilton made no secret of his doubt that he will surpass George in qualifying this term. He added: “I don’t anticipate being ahead of George in qualifying this year. We’ll see.”

Russell added that Mercedes are witnessing “huge progress” yet conceded his disappointment at narrowly missing a spot on the second row. “I’m hoping this can be a turning point for us,” he said.

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