Lewis Hamilton has been noted to have potentially been playing mind games on his younger teammate as their rivalry at the club
The young brit unexpectedly beat the hardened Mercedes Veteran Lewis Hamilton in his first year at the team and has already beating him 3-0 in qualifying so far this season. However, the youngster is now 20 points behind Hamilton in the drivers championship after his retirement at the chaotic race in Melbourne. As the internecine battle in the Mercedes garage, the duo has come under the scrutineering eye of the media. Tom Clarkson, FIA press conference host, and F1 Nation podcast host, has suggested the idea that the seasoned Brit might be attempting to lull his teammate into a false sense of security.
“In the press conference [in Australia], after qualifying, they’d qualified second and third in Melbourne. Max, of course on pole,” Clarkson said on the latest episode of the F1 Nation podcast.
“And every time a question was posed to both of the Mercedes drivers, Lewis was quite happy for George to answer the question. He almost became the spokesperson for the team in that press conference. And I was interested as to why Lewis was happy to just sit back and let that happen. I don’t know whether he’s sort of keeping his powder dry.”
“Is he trying to sort of give him a sort of false hope of being the dominant person, and then he’s going to really hit him hard where it matters most on the stopwatch later on?” “I don’t know what his thought process was. But it was interesting anyway, to observe that he very much let George be the man.”
Damon Hill, who seemingly always has something interesting to add to the conversation, added this:
“We [drivers] are competitive.“And we are kind of political as well. You have to be aware of rising forces or rising empires within the team. George has to make himself a valued asset of the team. And he’s obviously doing that really well. But at the same time, he’s the one that has to do all the hard work. I think Lewis doesn’t have to. They [Mercedes] know what they’ve got with Lewis, and they know that given half a sniff of a chance, he’s going to be back on on top form and can deliver those extraordinary races.”
“They know that George can do that too. But he has yet to prove all that.”
“So I think Lewis is very good and will suss all this out and then he’ll be sitting there thinking, ‘well, okay, I’ll let you do all the hard work, George, because it’s exhausting doing all this’.”
“George is also the director of GPDA so he’s got a big workload, George, he’s taken on quite a lot. But I think Lewis’ strategy has always been to remove as many distractions as possible and leave time for downtime and clarity.”