LEWIS HAMILTON ranks 13th in the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix as Mercedes problems continued.
Lewis Hamilton ‘must recognize’ that George Russell is a ‘Better Driver’ at this stage after ‘better early for this season’, according to Ralf Schumacher. The German claimed Hamilton ‘has to ask himself why Russell is faster’ than him despite being the junior driver.

Lewis Hamilton

Schumacher has warned there could be ‘changes in the ranking’ of the drivers over the coming weeks as the team looks to capitalise on its title chances. Mercedes usually gives both drivers equal footing until a championship charge is realistically over but with the team struggling for pace, Russell could soon become the main man.

Speaking to Sky Germany, Schumacher said: “He has to ask himself why George Russell is so much faster than him. A 13th place is of course not Hamilton’s ambition. He has to admit to himself that Russell is the better driver right now.

“If this continues in the next few weeks, it will be exciting in the team. There could be changes in the ranking.” The former Williams man currently lies fourth in the drivers’ standings and just 37 points behind Charles Leclerc after a string of points finishes.

He is the only driver on the grid to finish in the top five four consecutive time -this season. Meanwhile, Hamilton languished in seventh with 21 points less than his new teammate.

The 37-year-old has now scored meaningful points in just two races this season but has benefited from Red Bull retirements each time. Picking up no points in Imola was matched with a 10th-place finish and just one point in Saudi Arabia.

After the weekend’s race, Hamilton effectively wrote off any bid to secure his eighth crown this season.

After the weekend’s race, Hamilton effectively wrote off any bid to secure his eighth crown this season.

He said: “I’m out of the championship, for sure. There is no question about that. But I’ll still keep working as hard as I can, to try and pull it back together somehow.”

Team principal Toto Wolff defended Hamilton after his poor results despite Russell securing top five finishes in the same car.

Wolff said: “We saw with George where the car can drive if you’re in free air but we are not good enough for a world champion, not worthy for a world champion and we just need to fix the car. We’re going to look at things for Miami, I think we can make a step in the understanding of the car and it’s another day, we just need to really understand, creep up, bring development onto the car which will fix the bouncing.”

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