Tuesday, 16 Apr, 2024

Montoya: With a winning Mercedes, we’ll see a different Hamilton

hamilton russell who will beat who mercedes f1 2023

With a winning Mercedes in his hands this year, Formula 1 fans will see a different Lewis Hamilton from the one we saw in 2022 predicts Juan Pablo Montoya.

Last season was Hamilton’s worst in an illustrious F1 career, which began in 2007 at McLaren, with no wins, beaten by new teammate George Russell and sixth in the championship standings, the lowest he has ever finished.

But Montoya believes that the 38-year-old Briton, winner of 103 Grands Prix, will be a different prospect should Mercedes build a winning car, in other words, far better than the disappointing W13.

When asked by Motorsport Netherlands if Hamilton will beat Russell in 2023, Montoya replied: “Yes, because last year it was also largely due to the problems Mercedes had with the car.

“Lewis is a driver who when there is an opportunity to shine he grabs it with both hands but, if he’s fifth and knows there’s no more to it than that, you won’t see him driving like his life depended on it. Then he just does what it takes to secure that fifth place.

“But on the other side of the garage, George is a young driver who goes all out in every race and wants to prove himself every time. However, I expect that if Mercedes has another winning car, we will see a different Lewis,” predicted the Columbian, a seven-time Grand Prix winner.

Of course, to win again, a resurgent Hamilton will first have to beat his teammate Russell every weekend, which could be a tough ask as the 24-year-old just gets better and better, as his win late in the season, in Brazil last year, testifies.

With a car that was out of touch with the pace-setting Red Bulls and Ferraris, particularly early in the year, Hamilton and Russell clearly collaborated to make the W13 better during the course of the year. Harmony prevailed.

However, the Mercedes W14 should be another world-beater in the mold of the W11 or even W12, the dynamic is sure to change, whereupon team boss Toto Wolff will be pushed hard to ensure that another Nico Rosberg versus Hamilton saga does not erupt, between a driver that has won far more F1 races than his teammate has even entered…