Australian Grand Prix: Lewis Hamilton praises George Russell, explains radio clamor as Mercedes ‘magnifies’

George Russell and Lewis Hamilton finished third and fourth for Mercedes in Melbourne despite Ferrari and Red Bull ahead. Drivers praise team for ‘picking up the pieces’ as Hamilton explains ‘difficult situation’ radio message

Last update: 04/11/22 8:54 AM

Please use Chrome browser for an accessible video player

Lewis Hamilton was pleased with Mercedes’ lead over the weekend, with him and George Russell finishing fourth and third respectively.

Lewis Hamilton was pleased with Mercedes’ lead over the weekend, with him and George Russell finishing fourth and third respectively.

Lewis Hamilton praised George Russell’s performance and Mercedes’ results as “amazing” at the Australian Grand Prix as the world champion saved third and fourth places on Sunday despite their car problems.

Mercedes, which has yet to bring in car upgrades, was still a long way off the track compared to Ferrari and Red Bull in Melbourne, but just as at the season opener, the world champions took advantage of their rivals’ woes.

In Bahrain, a double DNF for Red Bull lifted Mercedes’ standings, and in Australia a poor weekend for Carlos Sainz and another retirement of Max Verstappen gave the Silver Arrows a podium, with George Russell this time ahead of Hamilton.

“It’s a fantastic result for us as a team,” Hamilton said after finishing fourth.

Max Verstappen retires after engine problems caused him to retire from the track at the Australian Grand Prix

Please use Chrome browser for an accessible video player

Max Verstappen retires after engine problems caused him to retire from the track at the Australian Grand Prix

Max Verstappen retires after engine problems caused him to retire from the track at the Australian Grand Prix

“While we haven’t necessarily improved the car in these three races, I think we extracted as many points as possible wise. To come out with this result is fantastic.

added to Sky Sports F1“This weekend, we had a lot of tough moments with the car, so to get fifth and sixth in qualifying and to go as far as we got, we definitely weren’t expecting third and fourth.”

Hamilton clarifies ‘difficult’ radio message and praises Russell

Hamilton is fifth in the standings after the Australian Grand Prix, and is now 43 points clear of race winner Charles Leclerc.

Russell, Hamilton’s new teammate in the British team, came in second – after taking a lead over Hamilton at Albert Park after he swung under the safety car.

Sergio Perez overtakes Lewis Hamilton to finish third at the Australian Grand Prix

Please use Chrome browser for an accessible video player

Sergio Perez overtakes Lewis Hamilton to finish third at the Australian Grand Prix

Sergio Perez overtakes Lewis Hamilton to finish third at the Australian Grand Prix

Hamilton was not happy about losing a position and, in comments to team radio in the closing rounds, said Mercedes had put him in a “difficult situation” – which sounded like a message of displeasure about strategy – although the seven-times world champion later clarified.

“I couldn’t fight for third because the engine was overheating, so I had to back out,” he said before praising Russell.

“It’s unbelievable. He did an amazing job today, was really fast. He’s been really solid in those first three races and he’s running and really feeding. He’s doing a great job.

“I’ve seen a little bit of him racing Perez and I hope to be in him, but we’ll take those points and keep pushing.”

Out of the title race? “I hope we can join in the fight”

Hamilton also says he remains “optimistic” despite Ferrari and Leclerc’s big title progression, with Monaco still half a minute ahead of Hamilton despite the two safety cars on Sunday.

“There are 20 races to go,” he said. “If you think realistically, with the way the sport goes the way it develops, the top teams are generally developing at a similar rate.

Watch the opening round of the Australian Grand Prix

Please use Chrome browser for an accessible video player

Watch the opening round of the Australian Grand Prix

Watch the opening round of the Australian Grand Prix

“Will that be the case with this new car? Who knows. But I really hope we can get into the fight soon.

“But with every improvement we do, they and Red Bull will probably make the same kind of move, so it’s not going to be easy. The gap is pretty big now but there’s a long way to go.”

Message “Proud” after the first Mers platform

While he had slower packs than Ferrari and Red Bull in Australia, Mercedes scored more points than their rivals – who both had cars that didn’t finish the race.

Russell, who took the first podium for Mercedes and second in F1 after fiasco in Belgium in the half-point last year, is now second in the championship, said Russell. Sky Sports F1: “It doesn’t matter how fast your car is if you don’t reach the finish and you aren’t there to pick up the pieces.”

George Russell's reaction to his first Mercedes podium

Please use Chrome browser for an accessible video player

George Russell’s reaction to his first Mercedes podium

George Russell’s reaction to his first Mercedes podium

“This weekend we were probably the fifth fastest team behind Alpine and McLaren, but here we are P3 and I’m P2 in the championship, which is crazy.

“We should be proud of the work we’ve done so far, with our lack of performance, and believe we can get there, but it won’t happen overnight and there will be two races to close the gap.”

Leave a Comment