David Croft Calls Out Theory That Mercedes is 'Disadvantaging' Lewis Hamilton

The Brit is due to change teams at the end of the year.
Jun 8, 2024; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton (GBR) races during the qualifying session of the Canadian Grand Prix at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve.
Jun 8, 2024; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton (GBR) races during the qualifying session of the Canadian Grand Prix at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve. / David Kirouac-USA TODAY Sports

If you take anything more than a cursory glance at this year's Formula One standings, two elements are bound to jump out at you.

First, Mercedes's Lewis Hamilton is sitting in eighth place—the potential worst finish of the Brit's illustrious career. Second, his teammate and countryman George Russell is immediately ahead of him in seventh place. That would be his second-best finish in the series, after a fourth-place finish in 2022.

The disparity has led fans to speculate that Russell is receiving preferential treatment to Hamilton, who is scheduled to join Ferrari in 2025. On Friday morning Eastern time, veteran Sky Sports racing guru David Croft slammed those claims.

"Show me the data," Croft said. "And I'm not saying one side or the other is right on the argument, but show me the data. If the team are disadvantaging one driver, the data will be there to prove that."

In Croft's eyes, there is simply not enough to indicate Mercedes is sidelining Hamilton in favor of Russell—who is under contract until the end of '25.

"At the moment, I don't see why Mercedes would want to disadvantage a driver even if that driver is going at the end of the season to Ferrari," Croft said, arguing that Hamilton could still earn points that translate to prize money for Mercedes.

Next up on the Formula One calendar is the Spanish Grand Prix Sunday in Barcelona.


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Patrick Andres

PATRICK ANDRES

Patrick Andres is a staff writer on the Breaking and Trending News team at Sports Illustrated. He joined SI in December 2022, having worked for The Blade, Athlon Sports, Fear the Sword and Diamond Digest. Andres has covered everything from zero-attendance Big Ten basketball to a seven-overtime college football game. He is a graduate of Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism with a double major in history .