Lewis Hamilton’s ability to focus on just racing is being questioned, with the seven-time champion not in a happy place with his Mercedes at the moment. The British racer for his part has also questioned a number of decisions made by the Silver Arrows team, and is being consistently beaten by new teammate George Russell.
Dutch racing driver Tim Coronel feels Hamilton and Mercedes are not in a good place at the moment, with the Briton focusing on outside issues rather than his racing. He also feels Hamilton is not thinking with the team like Russell, which is hampering his chances during the races.
The Mercedes car is not easy to drive, and that is papering over the real issues. The reigning Constructors’ champions are the third fastest on the grid, but are well behind title challengers Red Bull Racing and Ferrari.
Despite their struggles, Russell has managed to get the best out of the car thus far. The former Williams racer is the only driver on the grid who has managed to finish in the top five at every race this season, which Hamilton has managed on just two occasions.
“Mercedes and Hamilton are not on a good vibe,” he told the Dutch edition of Motorsport.com. “As a driver, in a warm environment you express yourself well and then you can be creative and keep going.”
“Hamilton and Mercedes are definitely not in that at the moment. I see Hamilton making a lot of excuses.”
The Mercedes driver was at odds with his team over a strategy call during the recent Miami Grand Prix, and it was not the first time he has clashed heads with his engineers this season. It’s twice now that Russell has taken advantage of the Safety Car to finish ahead of his teammate, and finds himself 23 points ahead in the Championship.
Coronel feels Russell is willing to take a risk when it comes to strategy, and is working in sync with the team with regards to the decisions during the race. Hamilton has struggled get the best out of his Mercedes, which is certainly not a good race car at the moment, while also being distracted by events outside the car – the most recent being the jewellery ban introduced by the FIA.
“Russell takes chances because he feels pretty good. He creates that. We used to see that with [Michael] Schumacher, who really thought along with the team,” he added.
“Now Hamilton puts the ball to the team, but as a driver you also have to think. Hamilton is too preoccupied with his piercings, gems and other nonsense than with real racing.”