Lewis Hamilton: Champ delivers verdict on George Russell ahead of pair's potential '22 partnership

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Lewis Hamilton has offered his thoughts on George Russell as a driver and person and how it would theoretically work between the pair if they do end up as Mercedes teammates for next season in Formula 1.

Things are beginning to move into place for 2022 with Kimi Raikkonen announcing his retirement from the sport earlier this week for the end of this current campaign.

Indeed, there's a considerable line of thought that Valtteri Bottas will replace his compatriot at Alfa Romeo, before Russell then heads to the Mercedes seat he has been linked with greatly in recent months.

Naturally, it's been an increased point of discussion since the summer break and Hamilton was asked ahead of the Dutch Grand Prix this weekend what he would make of Russell becoming his teammate from next season, as well as what kind of dynamic it would generate having had both positive and negative experiences with the driver across the garage in the past:

"We have learned a lot how we approach things," Hamilton said. "We have made lots of mistakes along the way. It is not a concern.

"With someone new, it takes time. But George has already been on the circuit with us.

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"The only highlight from last week was his qualifying lap - it was amazing.

"He is humble. He has a great approach. Being British I would imagine probably helps in terms of communication.

"At the moment, naturally I have to be super-supportive of the teammate I have right now. So that's why I'm always supportive of Valtteri - because we have a job to do right now. Neither of us can win the team championship alone. We have to do it collectively.

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"George has already shown incredible driving and I'm sure he's going to continue to grow. So where better to do it than in a great team like this, or whatever team he goes to?"

Clearly, Hamilton is impressed with Russell's conduct both on and off the track and, when asked about directly competing with the current Williams man, the reigning champ revealed he is excited by the prospect:

"It's not like I have anything to prove. I have raced against some incredible drivers as teammates. In my rookie year [I drove] alongside Fernando.

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"If anything, if it does turn out I have a new teammate, I'm in a different place in my life. I'm excited to see the youngsters coming through.

"It's not that I want to lose to a youngster, naturally, but I am excited to see the progression of the sport. I am a fan of the sport at the end of the day."

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