Lewis Hamilton and George Russell disagree over W14 in Australia

Lewis Hamilton claimed Mercedes' first podium of the 2023 F1 season at the Australian Grand Prix.

Lewis Hamilton and George Russell disagreed over how good Mercedes’ W14 is at last weekend’s Australian Grand Prix, with Russell having labelled it as the “best F1 car” he’s ever had.

The Silver Arrows endured a mixed weekend at the Albert Park Circuit, with Russell and Hamilton having qualified a surprising second and third, before Hamilton finished second in the race.

Russell unfortunately retired from the third round of the 2023 F1 season after suffering a power unit failure, something which is certainly a rarity for the Brackley-based team.

It was their qualifying pace in particular which certainly shocked the team, especially given how negative the side have been about the W14.

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Fernando Alonso, though, wasn’t buying any of their comments after qualifying, with the Spaniard having stated that the Silver Arrows are “always fast”.

“They are always fast,” Alonso told DAZN.

“Mercedes always say they want to throw the car away but the truth is that they are already fast. They hid and in the middle of the year they will surely be there to fight for or win races as they did with Russell in Brazil.”

Whilst Alonso wasn’t surprised after qualifying, Red Bull advisor Dr Helmut Marko was, although, he believed the Aston Martin driver would have the edge in the race.

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Alonso claimed third on Sunday, behind Hamilton.

“I believe Alonso will be stronger over the race distance than the Mercedes drivers,” Marko told Servus TV.

“But it came as a surprise to me how Mercedes came to Max. I think they did a very good job with the tyres, but if they warm up so well for one lap then it could be a disadvantage in the race.”

Russell in particular was extremely positive after qualifying second, with the former Williams driver having been around two-tenths behind Max Verstappen.

“It’s probably the best F1 car I’ve ever driven,” Russell said after qualifying.

Hamilton’s stance on the W14 is interestingly the complete opposite of Russell’s, with the 38-year-old having complained about how he gets “the worst feelings” whilst driving the car.

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“Our cockpit is so far forward,” Hamilton said. “It’s one of the worst feelings you can have while driving.

“I listened to the team and that was the direction they said we should take, but if I had known this feeling beforehand, I wouldn’t have allowed it.”

Despite finishing second in the race, Hamilton continued to stress that he isn’t comfortable in the car, with the hope being that the new concept set to be introduced in Imola will work in his favour.