Ex-F1 racer Jolyon Palmer says Lewis Hamilton has turned the tide in opposition to Mercedes team-mate George Russell and silenced the doubters.
There was nice intrigue surrounding the brand new Mercedes driver line-up for 2022, the harmonious partnership of Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas damaged up after the duo delivered 5 Constructors’ titles in succession.
It was Russell who took Bottas’ place, Mercedes’ junior driver who had impressed in his three seasons on mortgage at Williams.
All eyes have been on the pair then to see how Hamilton would take care of his new team-mate, tipped as a potential future World Champion, and for a time earlier within the season it was Russell selecting up the perfect of Mercedes’ outcomes, establishing a buffer over Hamilton within the Drivers’ standings.
Hamilton’s head had dropped somewhat, however because the season has gone on, Mercedes extracting extra efficiency out of their underwhelming W13, Hamilton has returned to kind, the seven-time World Champion claiming three P2 finishes to this point within the marketing campaign, his newest coming at the USA GP.
There Hamilton was main and was on for the win after a sluggish pit cease had dropped his 2021 title rival Max Verstappen to P3, however such is the dominant efficiency of Verstappen within the Crimson Bull RB18 in race trim, he handed Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc after which Hamilton, who put up a valiant battle, to take his thirteenth win of the season.
Russell completed that race P5 to finish what was a scruffy weekend for the Brit, Palmer suggesting that Hamilton has now reversed the development of Russell gaining the higher hand which had emerged.
Talking on the BBC’s Chequered Flag podcast, after F1 commentator Jack Nicholls had talked about self-doubt from Hamilton, Palmer stated: “It’s the beginning of the season isn’t it? With George at the beginning of the season.
“New team-mate, new pressures with being one of many older drivers within the championship, he’s the second-oldest behind Fernando [Alonso] now.
“And all the time when you will have a altering of the guard, there’s new pressures and George Russell coming in, Lewis was snug alongside Valtteri Bottas for the final handful of seasons, however when you will have a brand new proficient teenager are available, it may possibly change the dynamic.
“Hamilton did it himself when he got here into Method 1 and overtook Fernando Alonso, and it shifted the ability of the longer term.
“And there was a second earlier within the season the place it regarded like Russell was doing it and wow, was this the altering of the guard? Is that this Russell now’s the way forward for Mercedes? In the identical means [Charles] Leclerc beat [Sebastian] Vettel, identical means as [Daniel] Ricciardo beat Vettel after which [Max] Verstappen beat Ricciardo at Crimson Bull.
“However he’s overcome it emphatically because the season has gone on. When Mercedes seem like they’re going to win, it’s all the time Hamilton that’s on the wheel.
“He was a good distance forward of George [in Austin] and I feel he has silenced the doubters that have been there, as a result of they got here out fairly laborious at the beginning of the season.”
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