Lewis Hamilton comment raises suspicions George Russell did get Mercedes ‘bonus’

George Russell, a teammate who Lewis Hamilton believes Mercedes is favoring, is faster than he is.

After receiving their lone Mercedes bonus this weekend at the Monaco Grand Prix, Lewis Hamilton has hinted that George Russell did receive his bonus in the form of an upgrade. Despite their erratic start to the season, the team had a positive weekend in Monaco.

For the seventh time in eight races in 2024, Russell outqualified his teammate with a faster pace. A week prior, he had given up sixth place to Hamilton in the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix and was lightheartedly advised by Ted Kravitz to ask for a bonus for prioritizing the team over himself.

Russell received an upgrade to the front wing, suggesting Mercedes may have taken the advice to heart. Hamilton mentioned this during his post-qualifying media duties. He clarified how their mutual gains stemmed from the team’s diligent efforts to enhance the vehicle.

“George is the only upgrade we have; the team has worked extremely hard back at the factory to bring an upgrade to the last two races and also an upgrade this weekend,” Hamilton remarked.

“It’s great to see we are bringing upgrades, but I expected it would be difficult to outqualify George because he has the upgraded component.”

Russell and Hamilton qualified for the race and finished fifth and seventh, respectively. The seven-time world champion expressed his disappointment at not starting higher on the grid following strong practice sessions.

“I don’t understand once we got to the qualifying stage. Before I even start qualifying, I already know for sure that I’m going to lose two tenths,” he continued.

That’s really annoying, and I’m at a loss for what to say. I’m driving the same way as always. The laps were excellent. simply deficient for an unknown reason.”

Despite team principal Toto Wolff’s insistence that they are not favoring one driver over another, Hamilton worries he won’t be able to outqualify Russell for the remainder of the season. Russell has a contract that runs until next year, so it makes sense that he will take precedence over his fellow Brit, who is leaving to join Ferrari at the end of the current campaign.

With Wolff acknowledging that Mercedes was to blame for Hamilton’s failure to finish an undercut on Max Verstappen, he was even more displeased. Hamilton could have finished sixth if Mercedes had instructed him to push on his out lap after pitting on lap 51.

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