Lewis Hamilton theory shot down as Mercedes star prepares to get acquainted with the car | F1 | sport

Lewis Hamilton is still F1’s “greatest driver”, despite claims he only succeeded because he had the best car. Critics have come for the Mercedes man after his rocky start to the campaign.

Hamilton finished only 13th at Imola and 10th in Saudi Arabia while team-mate George Russell won successive top-five finishes. Former F1 driver Marc Surer called Hamilton “spoiled” when asked about the champion’s recent form.

He added: “Russell is used to driving fast with a bad car, Lewis is not used to it anymore.” Ralf Schumacher questioned Hamilton’s performance, saying the former champion had to ‘admit’ Russell was now the better driver.

However, former W star and Sky Sports presenter Naomi Schiff defended Hamilton’s records. Speaking ahead of the season start of Series W, which will be shown live on Sky Sports, Schiff told Express Sport: “I think the elephant in the room right now talking is the eighth title that ‘he really wants to get, then he can finally tie and break all the records in the book.

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Mercedes expect to introduce further improvements to Miami’s Hamilton and Russell’s car in a bid to close the gap to the leaders. Andrew Shovlin warned that the upgrades won’t solve the problem overnight, but will help the team move in the right direction.

Hamilton currently languishes in seventh place in the drivers’ standings and has already ruled out a record eighth title despite the season still in its early stages. However, Schiff believes the Briton will start fighting for the wins again.

She added: “Yeah, there’s something in the car that he still doesn’t gel with, but I’m sure he’ll turn around. If anyone can. I think for a driver, it’s just about making sure you mentally stay in the right place.

Naomi Schiff is a presenter for Sky Sports F1 and W Series. Watch every race from both competitions live exclusively on Sky Sports.

Sharon D. Cole