George Russell has admitted that he’s “not satisfied” with drawing 11-11 with Lewis Hamilton in qualifying this year, as he’s desperate “to be ahead” of the seven-time World Champion.
After becoming just the third teammate of Hamilton’s to finish above him in the Drivers’ Championship in 2022, Russell was very much the number two driver in the recently completed campaign.
He failed to build on from his strong performances in 2022, which included victory at the Brazilian Grand Prix.
In 2023, Russell failed to win a race or claim a pole position, something Hamilton achieved at the Hungarian Grand Prix.
Whilst Hamilton secured his 104th career pole at the Hungaroring earlier this year, the 38-year-old also failed to win a race.
Even though Hamilton didn’t claim a victory in 2023, he did end the season five places and 59 points ahead of Russell in the standings.
Russell just struggled to perform consistently this year and often made costly errors, most notably on the final lap of the Singapore Grand Prix.
The ex-Williams driver embarrassingly crashed out of P3 on the final lap in Singapore, handing the position and a podium finish to his teammate.
Overall, Hamilton beat Russell 15-6 in the races, highlighting how superior he was over the King’s Lynn-born driver in 2023.
Russell admits himself that he didn’t have a good season, to the extent that it was the “toughest” of his career “psychologically”.
However, he acknowledges that it’s now time to push himself ahead of 2024 to ensure that he makes up for his mistakes this year and beat Hamilton.
“No doubt, it’s been probably the toughest season I’ve ever had psychologically,” he told Motorsport Magazine.
“Bouncing back from missed opportunities, missed results, mistakes. I think this is when you push yourself.
“And probably when I sit through my championship years, I probably wasn’t being pushed as much as I’m pushing myself now.
“I’m purposely trying to push myself further and beyond, and I’m not satisfied with just being on par with my team-mate in qualifying or whatever it may be.
“Or [2022 when] we were very even across the whole season. I want to be ahead. And that’s what I’m pushing myself for.”