F1 great Juan Pablo Montoya had a conversation with VegasInsider where he discussed the situation at Mercedes. He opined that there's no drama at Mercedes between Lewis Hamilton and George Russell. Here's what he had to say:
- I don't think there's drama between Lewis Hamilton and George Russell - Mercedes are trying to figure out the car
"I think there's no drama (betweem Lewis Hamilton and George Russell)."
"Lewis is in a different position in his career than George and that makes a big, big difference."
"The focus, at the team, at the moment, they're not racing each other at all. They're just trying to figure out the car. And I bet you they're trying different setups and different things."
"If they struggle on a weekend and it's terrible, they'll be like, 'okay, we move on to the next one.'"
"A team like Mercedes that are used to winning races, if they finish fifth or ninth in a race, or ninth and 12th. Who cares? In the big picture, who cares?"
"What really matters is understanding what's missing and figure it out and if they can understand what they need to do, it'll make a big difference."
- George was fighting in traffic for the last two-three seasons at Williams and Lewis was cruising up in front - that makes a difference
"Lewis is struggling and people are like - 'it really shows it was just the car, look how good is George (Russell).'"
"I'm a big fan of George, I really like Lewis as well. I think the biggest difference is that you got to remember, George has been in Williams for the past three-four seasons. So, he's been in the melee every weekend. Like he is 'traffic, traffic' and racing people all day."
"And Lewis, the last seven-eight seasons, he's been cruising by himself every weekend. He hasn't really raced people because when he gets to lap them, everybody needs to get out of the way."
"All of a sudden he's stuck in traffic and it doesn't matter how good you are, if you don't practice it, it's hard."
"Somebody who's been doing it all his life (George Russell), it doesn't mean he's (Hamilton) worse, it's just going to take him more time to figure it out."
- Lewis is not as comfortable in the car - he's focused on making it better
"I think Lewis is not as comfortable and I think the car is doing a lot of different things."
"I think Lewis is at a point that if the car doesn't drive really, really good, I mean when you're younger, and I've been through it, when you're younger, you'll drive it however it is and you think it's okay. As you get older and wiser, you go - 'uh, it's not driving well, there's no point'."
"I think you always want to drive the wheels out of the car but a guy like Lewis that has been used to winning every year, and championships, I think, for him to qualify 10th or 12th, it's kind of the same thing."
"Give him a winning car and you'll see how different he's gonna behave."
"I know he doesn't want to get his ass kicked every week by George. George looks a lot more comfortable and is pushing, and he's got a point to prove. Whereas Lewis doesn't really need to prove anything."
"I think Lewis is really focused on making the car better and is just really uncomfortable in the car."
"Did he forget how to drive? No, that doesn't happen. You don't forget overnight. He's just not happy with the car."
- The Mercedes W13 looks awful and it seems to have given up a lot of pace to deal with the porpoising
"It (the Mercedes W13) looks awful. I think they've given up a lot of pace because they need to run the car really high, for the porpoising."
"You see how bad at the end of the straights that car bounces! It's like the driver is going like that (bobs head) and you're trying to figure out where is the braking zone."
"I've been through it. It's a nightmare."
"It hurts the car, the gearbox, everything takes a beating. They've just given up a lot of pace just to make it survive the races. Once they figure it out, the whole grid is going to flip upside down, it's going to change a lot."