Lewis Hamilton ‘one-upped’ by George Russell

Lewis Hamilton was the only Mercedes driver present at the team's post-season debrief.

Lewis Hamilton was disappointed to find out recently that he’d been “one-upped” by George Russell, who backed out of attending Mercedes’ post-season debrief due to illness.

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff, Hamilton and reserve driver Mick Schumacher were all present at the team’s base before Christmas to speak to the hundreds of employees one last time in 2023, before looking ahead to the 2024 season.

A day before the debrief, Hamilton was informed that Russell was ill, meaning he couldn’t attend.

The seven-time World Champion brought Russell being sick up during the debrief, where he joked that he’d been “one-upped” by the former Williams driver, as he’d managed to get out of attending.

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Hamilton revealed that he’d called in sick before whilst at Mercedes to miss testing, as he doesn’t “like test days”.

“In the past I have done that to miss the test days, because I just generally don’t like test days,” Hamilton told Mercedes during the team’s post-season debrief, as reported by RacingNews365.

“So yesterday when I heard that he was sick, I was like ‘ah, he’s one-upped me! He’s gone to another level!”

Hamilton notably missed testing during 2015 at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya due to being unwell, with him having been replaced by current Porsche Formula E driver and ex-F1 driver Pascal Wehrlein.

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Whilst Hamilton was outdone by Russell at the debrief, it was the 38-year-old who consistently had the better of the King’s Lynn-born driver in 2023.

The 103-time race winner ended the most recent season 59 points and five places ahead of Russell in the Drivers’ Championship, comfortably ensuring that he wasn’t beaten by his younger teammate for a second campaign in succession.

Whilst this might bring a small smile to Hamilton’s face, 2023 was largely a year to forget yet again for the statistical greatest F1 driver of all-time.

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2023 marked a second season in a row without a victory, with his highlight arguably being his stunning pole position at the Hungarian Grand Prix.

Mercedes are no closer to catch Red Bull currently but Hamilton clearly believes that the Silver Arrows can do it, as he signed a two-year extension ahead of the 2023 Italian Grand Prix.

It means he has at least two more chances of claiming an elusive eighth crown.