Lewis Hamilton branded ‘one-hit wonder’ after benefitting from George Russell’s misfortune

Mercedes achieved their first podium of the 2023 season with Lewis Hamilton’s P2 finish in Australia.

Lewis Hamilton returned to the podium at the Australian Grand Prix after an impressive performance that, at one point, saw him lead the race in the opening stages.

The weekend marked a return to form for Mercedes, which looked to be struggling to keep up with its rivals in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia.

In qualifying, Mercedes looked strong, placing George Russell in P2 and Hamilton in P3, close behind their Red Bull rival Max Verstappen.

In the opening lap, both Russell and Hamilton passed Verstappen, exciting fans of the Silver Arrows who hoped this was the start of a comeback for the Brackley-based team.

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Unfortunately, a strategy call and lack of pace would see Verstappen regain the lead over Mercedes by lap 12, remaining out front until the chequered flag. 

With Verstappen taking another victory, not everyone was impressed with the Mercedes, doubting whether this return to the podium will last.

“I think it was a bit of a one-hit wonder, to be honest. Australia has always been a track where you can do well with a car that was half-decent, but then you go to the next track and it’s a whole different story,” Ralf Schumacher told Sky Sports Germany. 

Schumacher, who raced for Jordan, Williams and Toyota over a 10-year career in Formula 1, believe “it was a one-off due to the track.”

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READ: Lewis Hamilton abandoned by Mercedes after podium finish

“The other [factor] is, it showed that the Mercedes engine is currently the strongest when you look at the times in the second sector, even with Williams. All the Mercedes-powered cars were extremely strong this weekend, which is obviously a good sign for the engine,” he added.

Despite the struggles at Mercedes as they look to fix their performance woes on the way back to the front of the grid, the team is sat close behind Aston Martin in the Constructors’ title fight.

In the Drivers’ Standings, Hamilton is sat in fourth, while Russell finds himself down in seventh.