Lewis Hamilton told ‘be constructive and contribute’ as ex-F1 ace weighs in on Wolff row

Max Verstappen makes subtle dig at Lewis Hamilton

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Lewis Hamilton has been told he has to “contribute” if he wants Mercedes to fix the ongoing issues surrounding his new W13 car. The seven-time world champion has endured an awful start to the new era in F1, having amassed just 28 points from the opening four races. That leaves him 58 behind championship leader Charles Leclerc, with both Hamilton and team boss Toto Wolff already admitting his title hopes are over.

As well as being well off the pace of Red Bull and Ferrari, Mercedes have endured porpoising on the track, affecting both Hamilton and George Russell’s straight line speed. The problems were emphasised by both drivers being eliminated in Q2 in Emilia Romagna, although Russell did recover to eventually finish fourth in the Grand Prix.

Hamilton made no impression though, and was lapped by eventual race winner Max Verstappen en route to crossing the line in 13th. And during the weekend, he and Wolff were caught by television cameras seemingly having a heated row as things went from bad to worse for the Silver Arrows.

One interested observer of it all was former F1 driver John Watson. The Northern Irishman won five Grands Prix between 1973-83, and drove for the likes of Brabham, Surtees, Lotus, Penske, and McLaren.

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“The verbal tussle was interesting,” he told the Daily Mail. “It’s like someone struggling to stay afloat in a swimming pool. There’s no point standing at the side telling them to do this or do that. You need to jump in and help them to safety.”

Watson went on to explain his analogy, saying Hamilton can’t sit back and expect all the problems to be sorted out for him: “Lewis has to be positive, constructive. He can’t say, ‘This car is s***, you have to fix it.’ He has to contribute.”

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The conversation betwen Wolff and Hamilton was a lot softer in the immediate aftermath of the last race, with the Austrian telling his man his car was “undriveable.” It remains to be seen if the constructors’ champions can address any issues ahead of this weekend’s inaugural Miami Grand Prix.

Russell however, has fared better than his team-mate. He’s racked up top-five finishes in all four races so far to sit on 49 points – leaving him fourth in the standings.

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