Lewis Hamilton has said that he expects George Russell to bring the fight at Mercedes next season but wants to help him become the next British F1 champion, after describing him as ‘hugely respectful’ and ‘massively talented.’
Hamilton is once again locked in a title duel with his Mercedes team doing all they can to help propel him to an eighth Drivers’ crown, ahead of Red Bull and Max Verstappen.
Indeed, it’s proving an epic duel and one we have been waiting to see ignite for several seasons as Max as grown as a driver.
Another dynamic we’re starting to look forward to, though, is the one at Mercedes next year with Russell heading there as Hamilton’s teammate.
George has shown himself to be very fast when given the right equipment and he carries himself like a leader and future champion, so it’s no surprise Mercedes have got him into one of their cars for 2022.
That said, his ambition will see him look to challenge from the off next season and Lewis knows he carries threat but also knows that one day he’ll have to leave the sport and he wants to try and guide his compatriot to becoming the next British superstar on the grid:
“You’ve seen George is hugely respectful,” Hamilton said to the BBC. “He’s a super-talented young man and I think there’s a huge amount of respect already going in and we’ve got a nice balance at the moment.
“But he’s going to want to be quick, he’s going to want to show up and win, and do all those things that you do when you enter a new role.
“I remember in 2007 when I went up against [Fernando] Alonso. Of course, I wanted to beat him at the first race, so I appreciate and expect George to have that mentality, otherwise he’s not a winner, you know?
“But I’m in a different place. I really want to see him succeed. There’s going to be a point where I don’t continue in this sport and, you know, he’s my team-mate and he’s going to be the next Brit that I want to see win a world championship.
“So while we are going to be competing and I want to win on track, I really hope I can have a positive influence on how he conducts himself within the team, whether it’s the time he commits to engineering or how he churns through the data or even just how he drives on track.”