George Russell admits Lewis Hamilton is ‘consistently better’ at ‘little things’

George Russell has been on the podium four times this season.

Mercedes’ George Russell believes that he is performing well at present, but he is aware that he can be even better, and this is what he is aiming for.

Coming into the team to replace 10-time race winner Valtteri Bottas meant that the 24-year-old already had big shoes to fill, but racing alongside a seven-time champion in Sir Lewis Hamilton is one of the hardest jobs in motorsport.

On the face of it, Russell has taken to life at the Brackley-based side like a duck to water; he has managed four podium finishes in the opening 11 rounds, and is level with Hamilton in the intra-team qualifying battle at 6-6.

The young Briton out-raced his compatriot seven times in a row between the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix and the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, so he has been doing an excellent job.

READ: Valtteri Bottas makes sneaky comment about George Russell

However, the 37-year-old has finished ahead in all of the last four, so he is starting to get to grips with what has otherwise been a misbehaving W13 this year.

If nothing else, it is a reminder to Russell that things may be going well at the moment, but he needs to be perennially improving.

“Going up against the greatest driver of all time, where do you set your expectations?” he said in an interview with BBC Sport.

“It’s by no means been a bad start to the season, but I would still like to raise my game a little bit.

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“If I’m performing against the very best in sport – and I want to be the very best – I need to be at the top of my game every single week.

“I need to keep on improving, I need to look at my team-mate and see if he’s consistently doing something better. 

“And there are certain little things that he is probably consistently better at than I am, for the time being, that I want to improve on.

“I expected no less, and I think that’s just a natural part of an athlete’s or driver’s development.”

Veering away from his relationship with Hamilton, in and of itself, Russell’s performances are solid, but he is always looking for ways he can better himself.

“The results are good on paper but I think every individual, you know if you’re performing at the top of your game or if you feel like you’ve got more to improve,” he explained.

“It’s been a good start to the season, but there are definitely areas that I need to improve, and I definitely can improve, and I have been improving throughout the season.

“So I guess that’s exciting for the future, but racing drivers aren’t patient; I want to be right on top of my game today.”

The former Williams driver has previously affirmed that he does not want to be like any of the greats of the past, because he will only achieve success by being himself, which he reiterated.

“My approach is to try not to look at what the others are doing too much because I truly believe that you have to to get the most out of yourself,” added Russell.

“You can’t almost copy, paste what somebody else is doing.

“I’m just going out there to try and do my own business, to do the best possible job that I can, and if I’m ahead of Lewis, great. 

“If I was a bit behind, that’s how it is, but I still believe in myself and I believe I’ve got the potential to win championships. 

“It’s all about the mentality you have.”

READ: Toto Wolff praises ‘clever’ Lewis Hamilton and George Russell, comments on Mercedes’ reliability

Russell and Hamilton continue to run fifth and sixth in the Drivers’ Standings, with the Mercedes team third in the Constructors’ Championship as it stands.

In France last weekend, the pair managed their first double podium of the season when Hamilton finished second in front of his team-mate.