Formula 1 Racing

Hamilton proposed giving new front wing to Russell in Monaco

George Russell, Mercedes, Monaco, 2024

Lewis Hamilton suggested allowing his team mate to run the only example of their new front wing design at the Monaco Grand Prix, according to Mercedes.

The team broke with its usual practice of bringing upgrades for both drivers last weekend where only Russell ran their latest front wing specification. Hamilton drew attention to the difference after qualifying, and said he didn’t expect to qualify ahead of Russell again over the rest of the season.

Mercedes’ head of trackside engineering Andrew Shovlin said both drivers had backed the team’s decision to introduce upgrades earlier by not waiting until they had enough examples for each of them.

“We’re looking to have race quantities of that wing in Montreal,” he said in a video released by the team. “Normally you’d say race quantities is at least three because you’ve got one for each car and then you’ve got a spare available should anything happen. We don’t make three in one go, we make the first, then the second, then the third.

“An upshot of that was that we had one that we could bring to Monaco, have it ready for Friday to do the weekend. Now, a while ago, the drivers had said, why do we always wait until we’ve got a full set? Why not just let one of us run it?

“So we agreed with them that, given the situation with the team in terms of performance, we need to improve and we need to learn and it’s actually quite good to have different specs on the car in order to do that. So we did agree with the drivers that where we are now, we will be happy to bring one to the track and they were both happy with that.”

According to Shovlin, Hamilton proposed Russell should have the new front wing first. The team will rotate the privilege between its drivers over the coming races, he added.

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“Lewis said, if we’re going to start doing this where we haven’t got enough parts, let George run it in Monaco. There will be races in the future where we have a single update, and of course, we just alternate, from here on in. But Lewis actually made that decision quite simple for us.”

Although the slow-speed Monaco circuit is a poor venue for evaluating car changes, Mercedes are encouraged by what they have seen from the new wing’s performance.

“There’s a reason teams don’t normally bring update kits to Monaco, which is the very low-speed nature of the circuit, the fact it’s so busy with short straights, it’s very…

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