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Lewis Hamilton has been “making a lot of excuses” with Mercedes struggling to recover from their poor start to the season says Tom Coronel. Mercedes have been unable to challenge Red Bull and Ferrari at the front of the grid for the opening five races of the season.
It’s been a testing few months for Mercedes, but Hamilton is in uncharted territory having to fight in the middle of the pack. George Russell has enjoyed slightly more success than his team-mate, beating him in the last four races.
Hamilton has had some tough luck go against him, but he’s finished 10th or lower twice already. The 37-year-old has already ruled himself out of fighting for the championship, but is hopeful Mercedes can turn things around on the W13.
Hamilton did come out this week though to insist Mercedes have not made any progress since the opening day of the season. And Coronel, whose twin brother is also a racer, has taken aim at Hamilton for his attitude.
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“Mercedes and Hamilton are not on a good vibe,” he told Motorsport.com. “As a driver, in a warm environment you express yourself well and then you can be creative and keep going.
“Hamilton and Mercedes are definitely not in that at the moment. I see Hamilton making a lot of excuses, but it’s also very difficult because he keeps getting punched in the nose from his team-mate Russell.
“Then you go to the wrong momentum and you see that happening with Hamilton now. He’s looking for excuses.”
The Miami Grand Prix offered a contrast between the two Mercedes drivers with Russell telling his engineers that he wanted to stay and hope for a Safety Car while Hamilton asked his team to figure out the best strategy. Russell’s plan worked in his favour in the end and Coronel feels Hamilton’s jewellery row is proving to be a distraction for him.
“We used to see that with Schumacher, who really thought along with the team,” Coronel added. “Now Hamilton puts the ball to the team, but as a driver you also have to think. Hamilton is too preoccupied with his piercings, gems and other nonsense than real racing.”
Hamilton and Russell will be hoping for better luck next time out when F1 returns to Europe for the first time in 2022. First up is a trip to Barcelona for the Spanish Grand Prix next week before the prestigious Monaco Grand Prix is held a week later.
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