I think he’s taking it easy – Nigel Mansell on Lewis Hamilton

Nigel Mansell, Six Sports

Former Formula 1 World Champion Nigel Mansell believes that George Russell has a huge opportunity as Lewis Hamilton hasn’t “dusted off his right foot yet”.

Following a controversial end to the 2021 season at Abu Dhabi. Lewis Hamilton came as a favorite to win the 2022 season and get his revenge by bagging the eighth world title.

However, it pretty much became clear from the first race only that, Lewis Hamilton was going to be nowhere in the title fight with his W13.

Red Bull and Ferrari emerged to be the fastest cars. The Mercedes title fight was plagued by the new regulations. The porpoising affected the Mercedes car severely. Moreover, strings of disappointing results by Lewis Hamilton left him where he is right now in the standings.

This season, however, Hamilton had a new teammate alongside him. George Russell got the opportunity to drive for Silver Arrows. There were many speculations around whether George would be able to adapt to the pressure and performance of a big team.

Nevertheless, Russell has certainly excelled in his first year as a Mercedes driver. The Briton has finished in top 5 in every race he has finished. He earned the nickname of Mr. Consistency this season.

Nigel Mansell took his opportunity to praise Russell and Norris

1992 World Champion Nigel Mansell was also impressed by the 24-year-old’s performance. Mansell praises Norris and Russell as the two of the best young drivers on the grid. Furthermore, he feels that his real self of Hamilton is yet to come.

Hamilton is trailing his new teammate by 12 points in the standings.

“I like both George Russell and Lando Norris,”

said Mansell in an interview.

“I think the opportunity that George has cast on the fact that Lewis hasn’t decided to dust off his right foot yet.”

The former Williams driver added while laughing:

“I think he’s taking it easy.”

“He [Russell] is doing a great job and I think Lando when the car is performing, he’s put some great results in.

“I think what we’re seeing is jockeying for position with the constructors, how competitive from one race to another they are. And you know, one minute you think, for instance, McLaren are up there again, they’re going really well. And then the next race they’re back down here.

“I think at the front, you’ve got the three protagonists at the front again, you’ve got, Ferrari, you’ve got Red Bull, and you’ve got Mercedes.

“And you might have one other occasionally jockeying for trying to get on the podium. But it’s those three main manufacturers that have got it taped.”

Mansell thinks to win big in F1 now, the drivers need the backing of a big manufacturer

Further expanding the concept of those three main manufacturers, Mansell explained how F1 has changed in terms of money and resources spending.

According to Mansell, only big teams with big budgets can come in front now. The “entrepreneurs of the past”, who could find success in a short time with a small budget and fewer resources no longer exist in F1.

Mansell feels that to win big in F1 now, the backing of big manufacturers is a must.

“When I was driving with the late, great Colin Chapman, Colin took me under his wing, like a father figure for me,”

said Mansell.

“And I’ll never forget, in the early 80s, he was saying he runs a whole team of personnel, it was 100 people going to all the races around the world, paying the salaries of the drivers and everybody, it was certainly less than three million pounds a year.

“The whole face of Formula One has changed. And unless you have a major manufacturer behind you, the entrepreneurs of the past, they don’t exist anymore. You have to be a big manufacturer spending lots of money.

“In Formula One, to catch up, when you fall behind the curve to be competitive, you have to almost spend more and work harder and jump that curve just to actually try and catch up and compete on the same level. And so, it’s really tough for the lower teams who don’t have the budgets.”

The statement Mansell gave is totally true. Teams with smaller budgets like Haas have found it extremely difficult to keep up with the pace. On the other hand, big teams like Mercedes, Ferrari, and Red Bull spend millions of Euros for their success.

That’s the main reason the budget cap was introduced. The budget cap has helped teams move closer to midfield. However, the front is still dominated by the “big guys”.

For more updates, follow us on Twitter.

To Top