‘George can do the experiments’: Hamilton jokes about being Mercedes’ guinea pig

Sir Lewis Hamilton got his second podium of the season in Canada by finishing third.

Sir Lewis Hamilton has suggested that Mercedes team-mate George Russell should be the “guinea pig” in the second half of the season after the team carried out a series of experiments on the 37-year-old’s car.

Mercedes have been severely lacking performance and comfort in their 2022 challenger due to “porpoising” and bouncing this year, but they have fluctuated between a car that bounces heavily on some track sand one that behaves itself on others, so they have been left wondering why that is.

In a bid to find out, they have conducted a series of experiments on Hamilton’s car that they hope will give them some answers going forward.

READ: Is this the reason Hamilton was faster than Russell in Canada?

These changes will help tell them which directions they should not go down as much as which ones they should, and at times, the trials have made the car feel worse.

There is the possibility that they have also made the pace slower too, which might explain the seven-time champion having been out-qualified in seven occasions in 2022 by team-mate Russell.

The Briton ran more unique parts in Canada last weekend and, while they did not seem to work at all during Friday practice, he out-qualified Russell for the fourth time this season in P4, and went on to secure his second podium of the year in third.

Having suffered severe back pain in Baku with a car that incessantly smacked against the circuit, the 37-year-old has quipped that Russell should draw the short straw in the second half of the year.

“Maybe the second half of the season, George can do the experiments,” joked Hamilton.

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“We are just trying to progress as a team.

“Moving forwards, we will be a little bit more cautious on doing too many experiments as it really does hinder you through the weekend, especially if you only have practice one and two in the dry. 

“There are lots of learnings from this weekend and improvements we can make going forwards. 

“We had really great pace and it is so nice to see. It has not always been the case I have had with this car. It is nice to have a good battle.”

Mercedes have perennially found themselves in positions to take advantage of misfortune for Ferrari and Red Bull to take podiums and top four finishes this season, but they are yet to really challenge them on raw pace.

This is something Hamilton hopes he can change as his home race next weekend.

“I really hope moving to Silverstone, it is such an important race for us and for me and I really hope that… I just want to be in the battle with these guys [Red Bull and Ferrari],” he added.

“When the safety car came in and we started again, the dream was to keep in that battle with them and find a way, but they were rapid. We will get there eventually.”

Mercedes have now managed five podiums this season between Hamilton and Russell, but are yet to finish a race higher than third.