Hamilton conservative while Russell takes the risks

Durning wet qualifying at the 2022 Canadian GP, Lewis Hamilton came out ahead of his team mate George Russell. While Lewis has out qualified George 4 times he has finished behind his team mate in all the races bar the season opener in Bahrain. Russell has finished each of the 8 races so far in the top 5 but Russell appears to be prepared to risk more than Hamilton.

As qualifying started, the rain was pouring down and both Hamilton and Russell opted for the full wet tyre in Q1 and Q2. Russell posted quicker times in each of those sessions but when Q3 arrived there was a drying line beginning to appear on the track.

All the remaining 10 cars ran the intermediate tyres during the session but with minutes to go George Russell exchanged the following messages with his engineer

Musconi So strat one, over the line. Box, box, box. Hard in-lap.
Musconi Okay. George, let us know if you want new inters or if you want to try the dries. Currently P5.
Musconi So Verstappen has gone to new inters. Lewis new inters. Verstappen is just changing his mind to slicks.
Russell Slicks.
Musconi Copy that, slicks. So Verstappen has gone to inters. Verstappen new inters.
Russell What So position are we? currently you’re still P5.
Musconi Everyone has gone for new inters, everyone has gone for new inters.
Russell [Unclear]
Musconi Box, box, box.
Russell How many laps are we going to get?
Musconi going to get two You’re laps. Going to get two laps.
Russell Go for it, give us a soft.
Musconi So please confirm tyres.
Russell Get the slicks on.
Musconi Slicks, okay slicks.
Musconi So we have time. And straight out. Blue 14 position one. So all clear ahead and you’re going to get two laps. So sector one is the worst.
Musconi Blue 14 position one.
Musconi So still a very wet apex of turn one on the kerb. So you’ve got Magnussen on a lap at six seconds, he is pushing.

(Transcript courtesy of racefans.net)

By way of contrast Lewis flirted with the idea of slicks twice before settling on a final run on new intermediates.

Bonnington Okay so, box, box, box, box. So we’ll go for new inter. We’ll go for another inter. Let us know if you need a flap adust.
Bonnington So let us know on flap.
Hamilton I just don’t know whether it’s going to be, it’s going to be quicker or not.
Hamilton Am I coming inside or?
Bonnington Nope. We’re going to be live pit stop. We’re going to go for new inter.
Hamilton We should go for slicks, no?
Bonnington So your all clear exit.
Bonnington We do have slicks available. We do have slicks available.
Bonnington So Verstappen leaving the pit lane now on inter, interfor Verstappen. We’re in strat mode 16 at the moment.
Hamilton Yeah it’s not slicks yet.
Bonnington Okay copy. Go strat mode four.
Hamilton How’s my pace?
Bonnington So we’re currently P6 [unclear] to Verstappen. All cars currently on inter tyres.

Of course Lewis finished the session improving to P4 while  Russell failed to improve his time set earlier in the session on intermediates.

Russell clearly was willing to risk all for a pole position but tried too hard on his first flying lap and went off the circuit. Had the British driver used that lap to warm the tyres further and try for just one flying lap – who knows where he would have finished.



It will be fascinating to see how Hamilton fairs in the race this afternoon. His dry weather setup was woeful and Lewis described the car as “the worst car I’ve ever driven”.

In the final dry practice session Hamilton was about half a second a lap slower than Russell, so if the long pace form remains the same it won’t be long before we see an on track battle between the two Mercedes team mates.

Fernando Alonso had been risking all most of qualifying and was rewarded with a P2 starting position alongside pole sitter Max Verstappen.

READ MORER: Toto Wolf “lost his shit” in team bosses meeting

2 responses to “Hamilton conservative while Russell takes the risks

  1. So good to see and hear Danika Patrick at F1 Canadian Grandprix. Very knowledgeable and knows what she’s talking about. Please get her involved for future races as well

    • Absolutely. Way better than Naomi Schiff who is merely a pre prepared sound bite queen

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