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Hamilton set to tow Russell in Italian GP qualifying

Hamilton set to tow Russell in Italian GP qualifying

F1 News

Hamilton set to tow Russell in Italian GP qualifying

Hamilton set to tow Russell in Italian GP qualifying

Lewis Hamilton has revealed he is likely to give George Russell a tow during Italian Grand Prix qualifying.

As has been proven over the years at Monza, the tow can be a valuable tool in any F1 team's bid to secure a favourable grid slot.

With Hamilton, Ferrari's Carlos Sainz and Red Bull duo Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez all facing grid penalties for Sunday's race, it leaves Russell in contention for a front-row position.

With Ferrari's Charles Leclerc seemingly set for pole, Mercedes' poor form in second practice means Russell faces a battle for that front-row start with McLaren's Lando Norris and the Alpines of Esteban Ocon and Fernando Alonso.

Asked about the possibility of aiding his team-mate, Hamilton said: "It's George's turn this weekend to choose whether he goes first or second [in qualifying].

"Most likely he will choose to go behind me so I will just do my normal programme and he will get a tow."

As to the possibility from his perspective, Russell is not so sure.

"If you nail it, it definitely does work, but there's a high-risk, high reward," remarked Russell.

"It's not something we're putting a lot of emphasis into. Qualifying sessions are a time when we learn quite a bit about the car, the tyres, and that's clearly been somewhere where we've struggled this year.

"For now, we'll both just go in and do an ordinary session."

Hamilton - "We went a lot slower"

Mercedes had looked strong in FP1 in which Russell and Hamilton had finished third and fourth quickest behind a Ferrari one-two spearheaded by Leclerc.

But in FP2, and around a low-downforce circuit at which it said in the build-up to the event it would struggle, its forecast proved correct as the W13s were considerably off the pace.

Assessing why, Hamilton said: "We made set-up changes but we went a lot slower somehow, or they [Ferrari and Red Bull] went a lot quicker.

"I've given it everything out there but it [the car] just doesn't feel particularly quick."

Offering his verdict, and reiterating Hamilton's remarks, Russell added: "A bit of a strange day.

"FP1 was looking pretty strong but then Ferrari and Red Bull have seemingly taken a step forward compared to us, or maybe we've taken a step back as we were obviously behind a McLaren [Norris] in FP2.

"So a bit of work to be done to understand that."

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