Former teammate, Nico Rosberg, believes that the porpoising phenomenon and a certain Mr George Russell are bringing out the best in Lewis Hamilton.
Those familiar with Sky’s F1 coverage will be aware that it is rare for the German to pay his former teammate – and former friend – a compliment, back-handed or otherwise.
Indeed, usually, when part of the broadcaster’s coverage team, no matter the question, no matter the topic, the 2016 world champion will somehow turn it around in order to get in a swipe at the Briton.
However, appearing on Any Driven Monday, Rosberg paid credit to the seven-time champ, claiming that his current situation is bringing out the best in him.
“Lewis is driving at his best,” says Rosberg. “He has just had an unbelievably unlucky season with all these different things going against him.
“This was a normal weekend and he delivered in the usual awesome way,” he adds. “That driver pairing is so strong, incredible, but, make no mistake, Lewis hates passionately to ever come second to a team-mate, so he will be ultra-motivated and pushing hard internally.”
Once the very best of friends, the relationship between Rosberg and Hamilton soured once they became teammates, and by the time the German secured the 2016 title they were barely on speaking terms.
Aware of the lion’s den that Russell has boldly walked into, Rosberg is full of praise for the youngster, especially his decision to ‘go it alone’ in Q3 on Saturday in switching to slicks, even if it was a decision that didn’t pay-off.
“George has done an awesome job, phenomenal with how difficult that car has been to drive. To be so consistent, driving so well, not making any mistakes, always getting the maximum out of it, he has been brilliant.
“On Saturday, one would think, ‘okay, keep it safe, bring home another P4 or P5 in qualifying’, but no, he said, ‘I am going to put my slicks on, I only care about pole position’. That is really awesome.”
Despite the improved performance of the W13 in Canada, Rosberg doubts the German team will trouble Red Bull or Ferrari at Silverstone.
“The car in the race was really decent,” said Rosberg. “I thought it was so awesome how George right after the start made headway, passing one car after another down into the hairpin.
“I think they are making progress but there is still some way to go to Ferrari and Red Bull. They can’t win at Silverstone, they are still too far away.”
Pitpass isn’t so sure… in this new age of F1, where so very much of it appears to be working to a script, surely a win for Lewis or George at Silverstone would be top box office… indeed, just what Netflix ordered.