Hamilton reacts to Russell finishing ahead of him on alternate strategy

George Russell ended the Miami Grand Prix in fifth position, just ahead of team-mate Sir Lewis Hamilton.

Sir Lewis Hamilton has praised the job done by team-mate George Russell during the Miami Grand Prix as the 24-year-old made a long first stint work to his advantage.

Russell and Mercedes were confounded on Saturday when he was unable to convert a good day on Friday into a good qualifying as he was eliminated in Q2, while Hamilton made Q3 and started the race sixth.

The 37-year-old started the race on Mediums while his young team-mate went long on Hards, and capitalised on a late Safety Car to execute a cheap stop, eventually passing Hamilton who did not pit.

READ: ‘That’s what your job is!’ Hamilton slams Mercedes after finishing behind Russell in Miami GP

Russell beat his team-mate to fifth in the end after an enticing scrap between the pair, and the seven-time champion was left wondering if he might have mirrored Russell’s strategy.

“George obviously did a great job in that stint,” he said.

Lewis Hamilton slams Mercedes after finishing behind George Russell in Miami GP.v1

“He was on the better tyre to start with, the hard tyre was the better tyre, so in hindsight maybe we could have started on the hard tyre.

“He did a great job to recover from that position and get the points, fifth and sixth is good points today for the team.”

Miami was the second time this season that Russell has taken advantage of a Safety Car to finish ahead of his compatriot, so Hamilton is hoping that his fortunes improve in the coming races.

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“Yeah, I’m waiting for it. Until then I’ll keep working as hard as I can, working with the team. We got good points as a team today,” he reiterated.

READ: Max Verstappen calls for better reliability from Red Bull after Miami win

One thing that did not help the 103-time race winner’s cause was the fact that he got hit on the first lap by Fernando Alonso, but he powered through to claim eight points that have moved him back into the top six in the championship.

“The car definitely didn’t feel the same as it [on] the laps to the grid so I’m sure they’ll check it but probably the corner weight’s just a little bit… it was quite a hard hit but probably the corner weight was pulling just a little bit but otherwise it should be okay,” he told Sky Sports.

“I was doing the best I could. [It is] pretty unfortunate but we got good points for the team today so we’ll take them and move on.”

There was confusion during the late Safety Car period as to whether Mercedes would pit Hamilton or not, and they even asked him what he thought was best, which he found difficult to understand given that the engineers on the pit wall have a much better perspective than he does.

“In that scenario, I have no clue where everyone is and so when the team say it’s your choice, I’m like ‘I don’t have the information to make the decision so that’s what your job is! Like make the decision for me, you’ve got all the details, I don’t,’” he explained.

Mercedes will head to the next race in Barcelona with a fresh batch of upgrades on the car that they hope will get them closer to the battle between Ferrari and Red Bull.