Published On: Fri, Apr 12th, 2024

F1 LIVE: Mercedes ‘finalise Max Verstappen contract’ as Lewis Hamilton blamed | F1 | Sport

Lewis Hamilton has been told that he’s only driving at 98 per cent amid Mercedes’s difficult start to the season.

Former driver Thierry Boutsen says that the Hamilton of old would not have been so willing for team-mate George Russell to pass him at last weekend’s Japanese Grand Prix.

“I don’t think he’s moving on from Mercedes. But I see that, with all his experience and his age, it’s a little bit more difficult to give it 100 per cent,” Boutsen said.

“Maybe he’s only driving at 98 per cent. We saw it during the race when he asked whether he should let George past him. A few years back, he would have been fighting like hell to stay ahead of him.

“Now, when it gets worse like this one, he gets in a bad situation and he just gives up and gives Russell a chance to be better than him and to help the team to be better because he feels that he’s not in a position – or not capable – to perform as well, for whatever reason.”

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