George Russell publicly disputes Lewis Hamilton accusation after Bahrain GP

Russell's last victory for Mercedes dates back to the 2022 Brazilian Grand Prix, while Hamilton's most recent win was at the 2021 season's penultimate race in Saudi Arabia.

George Russell has openly disputed Lewis Hamilton’s assertions about their car setups at the Bahrain Grand Prix, asserting that their Mercedes vehicles were notably similar in configuration.

This commentary unfolds against the backdrop of Hamilton’s recent announcement that he will be transferring to Ferrari in 2025, marking his final year with Mercedes.

The 2024 season’s opening race in Bahrain witnessed Russell securing a third-place start, narrowly trailing Max Verstappen, while Hamilton placed ninth, lagging behind his teammate.

Despite their efforts, both Mercedes drivers faced challenges during the race, finishing fifth and seventh respectively, as the team grappled with overheating issues due to a misjudged cooling setup.

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The ambient temperatures in Sakhir were unexpectedly high, complicating the race conditions.

In a post-qualifying interaction, Hamilton shared his perspective on the setup choices.

He highlighted a divergence in their setup paths, stating, “[On Thursday] during my work, we were doing identical car setups, and I was feeling great.

“We veered off – he went one way, and I went the other.

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“You could say that the one I was on is not good on a single lap, but I hope it’s good in the race.

“I wasn’t comfortable with my race pace [in practice].

“So I changed the car to hopefully make the race pace better but we’ll see if that’s really the case.”

However, Russell contested this viewpoint post-race, suggesting their setups were more alike than different and that his was arguably more race-oriented.

He remarked, “Many people have said this.

“I don’t really know the big differences, to be honest, because as far as I’m aware with the cars we’re pretty similar.

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“I don’t really focus too much on his set-up. Mine was actually more set up for the race than the set-up he ran. At least it was on Friday [for qualifying].”

Russell’s last victory for Mercedes dates back to the 2022 Brazilian Grand Prix, while Hamilton’s most recent win was at the 2021 season’s penultimate race in Saudi Arabia.

As the team looks ahead to the next race in Jeddah, the dynamic between the two teammates and their setup choices continues to be a point of interest.