George Russell under the microscope over Lewis Hamilton incident

George Russell currently finds himself 49 points behind Lewis Hamilton in the Drivers' Championship.

Former Ferrari and Williams team manager Peter Windsor believes George Russell is not looking like the Russell of 2022, who defeated Lewis Hamilton in the Drivers’ Championship.

Russell was sensational last season in his maiden campaign for Mercedes, which saw him claim his first pole position and victory.

The 25-year-old was actually the only Mercedes driver to claim a pole and a win last year, with Hamilton having achieved neither.

Russell actually became just the third team-mate of Hamilton’s to defeat him in the standings, a feat which has only ever been achieved previously by Jenson Button and Nico Rosberg.

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Many were shocked at how Hamilton was beaten by the King’s Lynn-born driver, something which wasn’t expected.

2023, though, has largely gone how most expected last season to go, with Russell struggling.

Hamilton has claimed a pole position and four podiums so far this campaign, whereas Russell hasn’t claimed a pole and has been on the rostrum just once.

Even when he was on the podium this season, he still finished behind the seven-time World Champion.

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As a result, Hamilton leads Russell in the Drivers’ Championship by 49 points, with the 38-year-old very much being Mercedes’ lead driver this season.

Russell just seems to be lacking with confidence, an assumption made by how he’s struggled to extract the most out of the W14.

He’s not really gelled with the car since Mercedes introduced their new concept at the Monaco Grand Prix, whereas Hamilton has performed much better ever since.

Windsor believes that whilst Russell is behaving like “classic George” over the team radio, he’s actually not performing like his usual self.

Because of that, Windsor reckons Hamilton is “feeling more confident”.

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“George had a big moment of the downhill right-hander after Les Combes, he’d gone off, and it just looked a bit messy,” Windsor said in a YouTube stream.

“Everything was kind of very nice over the radio, and everything was classic George, but he just doesn’t look like the George that’s been giving Lewis so much trouble certainly at the start of the year and last year.

“Lewis must be feeling more confident now as a result of that.”