Lewis Hamilton’s two-word verdict on Russell concerns as Mercedes act | F1 | Sport

Lewis Hamilton has promised that he will ‘try’ to beat team-mate George Russell in qualifying at the Canadian Grand Prix this weekend following a frustrating outing in Monaco.

The seven-time world champion was left incensed at the Monaco Grand Prix two weeks ago, suggesting that favouritism was at play in the Mercedes camp after being out-qualified by team-mate Russell for the seventh time in eight races.

“I don’t know if it’s a turn-down or something, but performance comes away from my car for some reason,” he said. “I expect it now. Every time I get to qualifying, I already know that I’m going to lose a couple of tenths.”

Hamilton then went on to preface the remainder of his qualifying sessions during his final season as a Mercedes driver, adding: “I don’t anticipate being ahead of George in qualifying this year.”

Toto Wolff fiercely denied any favouritism between his two drivers in response to Hamilton’s comments, suggesting that all drivers are “a bit sceptical at times”.

One of the key factors playing into Russell’s hands in Monte Carlo was an upgraded front wing that was not on the No.44 car. This will not be the case in Montreal though, with Wolff confirming that both drivers set to turn out in equal machinery.

“That progress isn’t yet showing in terms of positions but if we can continue to close the gap to the fastest cars, we know it will in due course,” Wolff explained. “Both drivers will have the updated front wing in Canada, plus some other development items for this event.”

With the new upgrades on his car for this weekend’s race, Hamilton was feeling more positive in Canada. “I don’t think it’s far away,” he responded when asked if Mercedes could be on the podium.

“We’ve got the upgrade… both of the cars have the upgrade this weekend so I’m looking forward to seeing how that feels actually on track.” Hamilton was then posed of the question of whether he will outqualify Russell on Saturday, to which he responded: “I’ll try.”

The two Mercedes drivers are currently separated by 12 points in the Drivers’ Championship standings, but Hamilton will first aim to improve on a best finish of sixth place this season.

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