Lewis Hamilton told to up his game or be prepared to play second fiddle to George Russell for remainder of 2022 season

Much has been made of the engrossing Lewis Hamilton and George Russell tussle so far this season. While it may not be entirely right to term Hamilton as being part of the past, calling Russell the future is certainly a more universally accepted fact.

With Russell getting the better of the seven-time world champion in three out of the four races so far, it is obvious that Hamilton would have started feeling the heat.

He was, after all, even involved in a heated discussion with Mercedes boss Toto Wolff recently.

The Mercedes W13 has struggled with regard to its straight-line pace and ‘porpoising’ has been a central theme to its woes in the early part of this season.

However, people have been caught by surprise with regard to how Russell is consistently outperforming a far more experienced and successful driver in Hamilton.

Certain members outside the team have even said that Hamilton should have retired from the sport after missing out on the championship last year.

That would, of course, have been a knee-jerk reaction to a highly emotional and agonising defeat to Verstappen in what was a highly controversial season-ending race in Abu Dhabi.

Villeneuve wants Hamilton to show more character

Jacques Villeneuve. Credit: planetf1.com

It seems almost certain that something is working completely against Hamilton and if Russell continues to get the better of him, former driver Jacques Villeneuve has offered a suggestion to Lewis.

“Hamilton wasn’t in the right rhythm from the off this weekend. He also didn’t look aggressive enough, as if he couldn’t fight,” Villeneuve said.

“That he ended up getting lapped, can happen. That’s the sum total of all the factors, plus the bad car. He won’t keep having such terrible weekends, and he’ll beat Russell.”

However, Villeneuve knows it is a bit more complex for Mercedes with respect to this season.

“Do you choose your megastar, your poster boy, the record-breaking champion with the international image, who costs you a mega salary,” he questioned.

“Or do you develop the car for the promising talent? A big star like this is great if you win–it gets you a lot of exposure. But if he doesn’t win, the backlash is so much bigger. A champion doesn’t have the right to not be competitive.”

Read more: Nico Rosberg lays into Mercedes for not blaming the real culprit behind 2022 disaster – “He’s played a big part”

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