Vote now: Should Mercedes make Russell their number one over struggling Hamilton?

George Russell has outperformed Sir Lewis Hamilton so far this season, but should Mercedes make him their number one driver?

When George Russell signed for the Mercedes F1 Team for 2022, everybody knew that the former Williams Racing driver would be the future of the German team; eventually ending up as the team’s number one driver.

However, has Russell already taken the team leader role from Sir Lewis Hamilton, after just eight races?

Nobody could’ve predicted the way 2022 has started, with Russell always in the top five and Hamilton almost always behind him.

Mercedes may have a car not worthy yet of winning championships or even race victories, but what Russell has managed so far this season is nothing short of a miracle.

The British driver has gritted his teeth at every round this season; capitalising on others misfortunes and making the most out of the disappointing W13.

Russell has done this though throughout his F1 career to date, having had to deal with a shocking Williams car for three-years straight.

The Brit has experience at making the most out of a bad situation, partially thanks to his time at the historic British team.

It’s clear that this ability has benefited him in 2022, where he’s managed to get everything possible out of the W13.

Despite the porpoising and lack of pace, Russell is the only driver on the grid to have finished every race in the top five this season.

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This has remarkably kept him within touching distance of the Championship leader, should Max Verstappen slip-up.

Ahead of the Canadian GP, Russell has finished 3rd three times, 4th twice and 5th three times, putting him on 99 points in the standings.

That’s currently good enough for 4th place, only 17 points behind Charles Leclerc and 51 points behind Verstappen.

Crucially though, Russell is 37 points ahead of his 37-year-old team-mate, who many thought would blow the 24-year-old out of the water.

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The complete opposite has happened, Hamilton has appeared lost on a number of occasions; he also has experienced a plethora of bad luck this year.

In all respects, Russell has benefited this season from some well-timed Safety Cars and on-track incidents, however, he’s put himself in the position where he can benefit from these sorts of events.

Russell has behaved more like a team leader than Hamilton, with the latter complaining considerably more at a time when unity is needed.

The Spanish GP best sums up Russell’s season so far, after defending from both Red Bull Racing cars like a man possessed.

Russell forced Red Bull to alter their strategies, after failing to find a way past the crafty Brit.

He has pulled some incredible results out of the W13 this season, both in qualifying and during the races.

Russell leads Hamilton 5-3 in qualifying, whilst dominating 7-1 on Sundays.

We are still yet to see a battle between the Mercedes drivers, which could be the defining moment in seeing who is the true number 1.

Hamilton can’t be forgotten about despite everything, the British driver has led Mercedes for almost a decade and has taken them to unmatchable heights.

The seven-time World Champion hasn’t been in the position he’s in for a number of years, representing a new challenge to him.

There is no doubt that Mercedes will eventually find their way back to the front, all that is left to be answered is who will lead them?