Lewis Hamilton proves his doubters wrong

Lewis Hamilton has finished ahead of George Russell 15 times in 2023, whilst he also sits 72 points ahead.

Lewis Hamilton has successfully proved doubters wrong following the Las Vegas Grand Prix, after he once again finished ahead of team-mate George Russell.

Ahead of the 2023 season, many thought that Mercedes were undergoing a power shift, following Russell’s remarkable achievement in 2022 during his maiden campaign with the Silver Arrows.

2022 saw Russell become just the third team-mate of Hamilton’s to finish above him in the Drivers’ Championship, joining Nico Rosberg and Jenson Button in the exclusive club.

The likes of 1997 Formula 1 World Champion Jacques Villeneuve questioned whether Russell would become Mercedes’ leader in 2023, marking the beginning of the end of Hamilton’s career.

Want to work in Formula 1? Browse the latest F1 job vacancies

However, it’s been the complete opposite this season, with Hamilton having secured third in the Drivers’ Championship last weekend at the Las Vegas Grand Prix, whilst Russell can finish no better than eighth.

Hamilton secured third after finishing seventh in Sin City, one-place ahead of Russell who would’ve finished fourth had he not received a five-second time penalty for hitting Max Verstappen.

Russell took full responsibility for the collision which damaged Verstappen’s front-wig, with him having simply not seen the three-time World Champion.

Whilst Hamilton has re-found his mojo at times this season, Russell has made several uncharacteristic mistakes, making 2023 a forgettable campaign.

Article continues below

With just Abu Dhabi remaining this weekend, Russell finds himself 72 points behind Hamilton.

At the season finale, Russell needs to out-qualify the seven-time World Champion to ensure that they end the season 11-11, in terms of their head-to-head.

When it comes to the races, Hamilton has finished ahead of Russell a staggering 15 times, with the King’s Lynn-born driver having defeated the 38-year-old on just five occasions.

It’s a similarly crushing story for Russell when it comes to podiums, as Hamilton has featured on the rostrum six times in 2023, compared to Russell’s sole top-three in Barcelona.

READ: Max Verstappen refuses to take responsibility for Charles Leclerc incident

Hamilton has very much regained the power and the number one role at the Silver Arrows, ending any suggestion that Russell is become the “leader of the team”.

“I see a change within Mercedes, George Russell is quickly developing into the leader of the team,” Villeneuve said after the 2022 Dutch Grand Prix, as per The Express.

“He took the decision to go for the soft tyres himself. Hamilton, with all his experience and championships, could have done the same.”