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

Sir Lewis Hamilton got his second podium of the season in Canada by finishing third as George Russell finished fourth.

It has become apparent in the last few races that Sir Lewis Hamilton and George Russell have essentially been driving different race cars.

The reason for that has been their general struggles in 2022, suffering with a pace and performance deficit, as well as poor stability and consistency on their W13.

One thing they have had going for them is reliability compared to Red Bull and Ferrari who, between them, have suffered six reliability failures in the opening nine rounds of the year to Mercedes’ none.

READ: Leclerc enjoyed ‘fun’ end to Canada GP after DRS train frustration

What the leading two teams have not had to contend with so much is the physical torment caused by “porpoising” and bouncing that left Hamilton with a bad back after the Azerbaijan Grand Prix.

The floor of the car persistently whacking the track surface has been a problem, not just physically, but in terms of performance as well, costing them around a second per lap to the pace of the leaders.

The frustrating thing for the Silver Arrows has been races like Miami, Spain and, most recently, Canada, where the impacts have been a lot less.

The reason for that frustration is that, when they have encountered less “porpoising” and bottoming, they do not seem to have a clear idea of why and how, so they have been flying blind as regards understanding how to properly fix their proclivities.

As a result, as reported by the Italian edition of, they have started trying out some experimental parts on the cars that they hope will inform their W14 in 2023 and get them back up to the front with Ferrari and Red Bull.

Article continues below

Hamilton and Russell were trying out various different wing, suspension and floor setups last weekend in Montreal, which is the reason the pace advantage fluctuated between the two Britons as the weekend went on.

The 24-year-old was generally faster on Friday and in the wet on Saturday during qualifying, but he qualified eighth for the race after taking a gamble on Slicks that did not pay off.

Hamilton remained on Inters, and he grabbed his best qualifying result of the year in fourth as he continued to go in search of some good fortune this year.

The 37-year-old went on to pass Alpine’s Fernando Alonso to finish on the podium, while Russell climbed up to fourth as Max Verstappen beat Carlos Sainz to the win.

The fact that the Brackley-based side are constantly running different set-ups on their cars creates a fluidity in the nature of the pace and consistency of their 2022 challenger, which explains why it perennially seems to feel different from weekend to weekend.

Hamilton had said after practice that the car was “worse” as a result of the experimental parts put on it by the team, but he was “overwhelmed” by the pace of the car on Sunday as he grabbed his first podium since Bahrain at the start of the year.

It was only the second time he has finished ahead of his team-mate in race trim this season having been out-performed in each of the last seven previous, although a chunk of that can be attributed to some misfortune with Safety Cars.

READ: ‘Max doesn’t know what I’m talking about’: Hamilton jokes with Verstappen as they share first podium since Abu Dhabi

It is also worth noting that the seven-time champion has won seven races in Canada, and the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve is also where he claimed his maiden success in 2007, so he has always gone well in Canada.

Russell leads the qualifying intra-team battle 5-4 after nine rounds of the year, so despite absurd claims on social media that Hamilton has somehow “fallen off,” he and Russell, performance wise, are separated by very little at the moment, if anything at all.