Formula 1: George Russell already has a chance to make history

George Russell, Mercedes, Formula 1 (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)
George Russell, Mercedes, Formula 1 (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images) /

George Russell has beaten Lewis Hamilton in six straight Formula 1 races. One more would tie Nico Rosberg’s record from 2015 and 2016.

While it is no secret that Mercedes’ W13 has been quite a handful and, to say the very least, a far cry from the cars they fielded during their eight-year run on Formula 1 dominance from 2014 to 2021, newcomer George Russell has capitalized on what the team have given him.

Russell is the only driver who has finished each of the 2022 season’s first seven races in the top five, and he sits in fourth place in the driver standings, one point ahead of Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz Jr. He trails only Red Bull teammates Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez and Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc.

With 84 points, Russell is already 34 points ahead of teammate Lewis Hamilton, which is even bigger than any gap Verstappen had over Hamilton en route to winning the 2021 world championship.

While some of that gap can certainly be attributed to misfortune, the seven-time world champion has indeed struggled to adapt to the W13, and Russell has truly had the upper hand through seven races. This fast start is something that was much needed when you consider the history of the Silver Arrows.

Hamilton hasn’t been beaten by a teammate in the standings since 2016, when Nico Rosberg beat him to the world championship by just five points.

What Rosberg did to start the 2016 season was continue a trend he began at the end of the 2015 season. From the 2015 Mexican Grand Prix to the 2016 Russian Grand Prix, Rosberg was not beaten, reeling off seven consecutive victories.

This is the last time — and only time — during Hamilton’s 16-year Formula 1 career that he was beaten in seven consecutive races by a teammate. In fact, prior to 2022, he hadn’t gone seven straight races without a single win since 2013.

But Russell has a chance to beat Hamilton in seven straight races in only his eighth start as his teammate.

Through seven races, the only race in which Russell was beaten by Hamilton was the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix at Bahrain International Circuit. Hamilton finished in third place ahead of Russell in fourth.

During his six-race streak of beating Hamilton, Russell’s average finish is 4.17, which is an average of 3.5 positions per race better than Hamilton’s. Hamilton has just two top five finishes during this span. In both of those races, Russell finished on the third step of the podium.

To put Hamilton’s struggles in perspective, in 38 races as teammates at Williams, Nicholas Latifi beat Russell on 11 occasions, giving him a 28.9% teammate win percentage over Russell.

In seven races as teammates at Mercedes, Hamilton has beaten Russell just once, giving the sport’s all-time winningest driver just a 14.3% teammate win percentage.

Next. F1 driver closes in on unwanted record. dark

Russell is set to go for seven straight finishes over Hamilton in the Azerbaijan Grand Prix on Sunday, June 12. This race is set to be broadcast live on ESPN from Baku City Circuit beginning at 7:00 a.m. ET. Start a free trial of FuboTV now!