Hamilton ‘between a rock and a hard place’

Lewis Hamilton has found the going tough so far in 2022 and has fallen behind his new team-mate George Russell in the drivers' championship.

Sir Lewis Hamilton has faced a difficult start to the 2022 season, which has already seen him drop countless points in the drivers’ championship, as his hopes of fighting for the title continue to look bleak.

He is currently sixth in the standings and 68-points behind championship leader Charles Leclerc.

To add further flames to the fire, new team-mate George Russell is fourth in the standings, 23-points ahead of him.

The inaugural Miami Grand Prix was another difficult weekend for the British driver, despite qualifying in sixth.

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Hamilton made zero ground during the race and ended up finishing behind Russell, even though the former Williams driver started twelfth.

Not for the first-time this season Hamilton was caught out by a Safety Car, which on the other hand played right into Russell’s favour.

“I think [Hamilton] was between a rock and a hard place, because the Safety Car clearly came out at a situation that wasn’t favourable for him, and favourable for George, in the back,” said Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff.

“George had a window, no one behind him, he was able to switch on to a practically new Medium, and Lewis had to decide, ‘Do I keep the position on a Hard or do I go on a Soft?’, which would have been also tricky.

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“That was probably a 50:50 decision and, in the end, it didn’t work out for him – but it’s not the first time that he’s been unlucky this season with the Safety Car.”

Russell has adjusted better to the W13 so far this season than Hamilton; the young British driver is the only racer on the grid to have finished every race this season in the top five.

Hamilton, however, has seen his results drastically vary at each round since finishing on the podium at the season-opener in Bahrain.

As of yet, the pair don’t seem to quite have the same relationship that Hamilton had with former team-mate Valtteri Bottas, Wolff though is “really happy” with how the pair work together.

“I’m really happy about the two of them, how they interact, how respectfully they go about with each other,” he continued.

“Even a situation where they race each other, where it’s getting a bit, ‘I’m not leaving you room’ and then, ‘Okay then, I’m never gonna find another way’, and then you give the position back.

“I think this is how two team-mates should race each other and that’s okay, so I’m happy how he settled in.”