Away from Max Verstappen, who has stormed his way to a second world championship, the drivers’ championship standings remain close between many drivers coming into the final three rounds of the season.
This is the case at Mercedes with Lewis Hamilton and George Russell being separated by only 20 points, with the latter having the advantage on the seven-time world champion.
Hamilton has suggested that he is not overly bothered about finishing behind Russell, with it only making a difference for him if they were competing for a title.
“If he finishes in front of me in the World Championship this year, I don’t mind,” he said.
“We leave at fifth and sixth place.
“It would be a different story when it came to first and second place.”
The 37-year-old has had fractured relationships with his teammates in the past, with the issues often arising when the pair become locked in a title battle.
The veteran had a harmonious relationship with Valtteri Bottas, who was often happy to play the role of wingman for the Brit, however when teammates like Nico Rosberg challenge Hamilton for the title, that’s when it has been seen to boil over, with the old friends ending their spell together not even on speaking terms after a few questionable actions by the Brit, such as their crash in the Spanish Grand Prix.
Hamilton has pointed to the Mercedes car experiments as one of the reasons he trails his teammate this year, with the 37-year-old claiming that for half the season his car was the one having all the experimental tweaks.
“Maybe in the second half of the season, George can do all the experiments,” he suggested in a press conference.
“I think moving forward we’ll be a bit more cautious on doing too many experiments, as it really does hinder you through the weekend, especially if you only have practice one and two.”
Whilst Hamilton may have been the driver to have more experimental set ups during race weekends, it has been pointed out by fans that this may have been his choice, not the team’s, with it being previously expressed by Hamilton how much he loves to tweak set ups and work on the technical side of the car alongside his mechanics.
With the focus firmly on next year’s car, Hamilton will be looking forward to potentially fighting for top spot with Verstappen once again, rather than fifth place with his teammate.