Hamilton told he ‘has to admit’ Russell is better Mercedes driver right now

Ralf Schumacher believes Lewis Hamilton must admit Mercedes teammate George Russell is better than him on current form following the seven-time world champion’s disastrous Emilia Romagna Grand Prix.

Hamilton has struggled since achieving a surprise podium in the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix, finishing P10 in Saudi Arabia and fourth in Melbourne. However, the seven-time world champion faltered and limped home to claim 13th at the Emilia Romagna GP last weekend.

While Hamilton struggled to extract the most out of his car and was even lapped by 2021 rival Max Verstappen, his teammate Russell expertly drove through the field to finish P4. His performance suggests there must be some pace inside the Mercedes car, even if team principal Toto Wolff referred to it as ‘undriveable’ on Hamilton’s radio.

Schumacher, who won six Grands Prix during a career which spanned between 1997 and 2007, has warned Hamilton that Mercedes could alter the drivers’ ranking within the team based on recent performances. Mercedes traditionally place both drivers on par until a leading championship contender emerges, but with the 37-year-old struggling, Russell could become the Silver Arrows’ leading driver.

“He has to ask himself why George Russell is so much faster than him,” Schumacher told Sky Germany . “A 13th place is of course not Hamilton’s ambition. He has to admit to himself that Russell is the better driver right now.

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“If this continues in the next few weeks, it will be exciting in the team. There could be changes in the ranking.”

Do you think Russell should be Mercedes' leading driver ahead of Hamilton? Let us know in the comments section.

Russell, who replaced Valtteri Bottas as Hamilton’s partner for the 2022 season, currently sits fourth in the Drivers’ Championship just 37 points behind Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc. Russell is the only driver on the grid to finish in the top five in each of the four races.

Meanwhile, Hamilton is down in seventh with 21 points fewer than his new team-mate. After his difficult weekend in Imola, Hamilton ruled himself out of any championship contention, seemingly ending his hopes of winning a record eighth world title.

“I’m out of the championship, for sure. There is no question about that,” a despondent Hamilton said. “But I’ll still keep working as hard as I can, to try and pull it back together somehow.”

The 22-race F1 2022 campaign – which is expected to return to a record 23 races in the near future once a Russian Grand Prix replacement is found – continues with the Miami Grand Prix on May 8.

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