Could Lewis Hamilton force George Russell out at Mercedes?

George Russell outscored Lewis Hamilton in 2022 and recorded Mercedes' only win in Brazil.

Lewis Hamilton is back to business at Mercedes, having re-instated his claim as the number one driver over team-mate George Russell.

Former F1 driver David Coulthard has given his verdict on the recent power shift, describing the serial champion as a “formidable teammate.”

“Lewis when he’s on form, is a formidable teammate, there’s a class there and it doesn’t mean he’s unbeatable because even the late great Senna was occasionally beaten by his teammates. But I think we’ve definitely seen a little turning of the tide in terms of Lewis is looking pretty sharp and there’s a spring in his voice if you like when he’s talking to the team,” Coulthard stated.

Coulthard’s comments come after Hamilton regained the form of old, securing back-to-back podiums in Spain and Canada, finishing second and third.

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What’s more significant from a team standpoint is the fact that Hamilton has been able to rectify his dip in form early on in the season and outperform teammate and fellow countryman George Russell.

The start of the season was plagued with difficulties as Hamilton struggled to adapt to the W14, particularly the cockpit, which sits too far forward, according to the Briton.

Russell enjoyed a fruitful period, establishing himself as the leading Silver Arrow bettering Hamilton for pace and ferocity as he out-qualified and outperformed his teammate.

But the seven-time world champion has since found his feet. At the Monaco Grand Prix, new upgrades were introduced and it’s safe to say Hamilton has taken well to such improvements.

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Hamilton finished the Monaco GP in fourth, one place above Russell who was 17 seconds slower.

In Spain, the Mercedes men joined one another on the podium with Hamilton runner-up to race winner Max Verstappen.

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The Canadian Grand Prix will be one to forget for Russell who was forced to retire after he damaged his car clipping the track wall coming out of the chicane at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve.

However, Russell had made up considerable ground after his blunder and will not settle for second best at Mercedes. The young talent has been vocal about his plans to win a world title and undoubtedly believes he is now the faster driver.

It sets up a mouth watering contest between the British duo for the remainder of the season.