George Russell is ‘world champion material’, Lewis Hamilton wants him to succeed

George Russell joined Mercedes from Williams at the start of this year, partnering Sir Lewis Hamilton.

In his first season with Mercedes, George Russell has been an outstanding performer, and his consistency has been something to behold, particularly up against a seven-time champion in Sir Lewis Hamilton.

The Singapore Grand Prix showed that there are perhaps one or two chinks in the armour, and that is perfectly okay.

He is still a young racer, this is still hie debut season with the Silver Arrows, and it would be foolish to pretend that even the greats of years gone by have not made mistakes early in their careers.

Russell, after starting from the pit lane, hit Valtteri Bottas early doors in Singapore, was brought back into the race by a Safety car, and points suddenly looked possible.

READ: George Russell criticises Mick Schumacher for Singapore GP crash

As he was pulling a move on Mick Schumacher though, the Briton’s car met with the Haas, and the wheel banging gave them both a puncture.

The 24-year-old finished 14th, one place behind Schumacher, and last of the classified runners.

Russell has out-qualified Hamilton eight times in 2022, and leads the race battle 10-7, placing him in front in the championship standings with seven podiums and 15 points finishes.

Hamilton himself made a big error at Marina Bay on Sunday, and was a little fortunate to be able to continue on his way to ninth place after his heavy impact with the barrier.

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All in all, Mercedes’ misfortune has to be put down to a bad day at the office, and not a reflection of the abilities of their drivers.

Mercedes boss, Toto Wolff, has previously testified that there is a no-blame culture at Mercedes; instead, they are a team that bring each other up in times of hardship.

Even before their current British partnership began, Hamilton affirmed that he was rooting for Russell to be Britain’s next world champion.

“I’m in a different place, I really want to see him succeed,” he said late last year, quoted by Autosport.

“There’s going to be a point where I don’t continue in this sport. He’s my team-mate and he’s going to be the next Brit that I want to see win a world championship.

“So I really hope that, while we are going to be competing and I want to win on track, I hope I can have a positive influence on how he conducts himself within the team.

READ: WATCH: Daniel Ricciardo and George Russell’s stunned reaction to Max Verstappen drama

“Whether it’s the time he commits to engineering, or how he churns through the data, or even just how he drives on track.”

Russell and Hamilton are yet to win a race this season, and time is running out for them to do so, despite the terrific improvements we have seen since the W13 since the start of the year.

Is another title in the horizon for Mercedes? You would be naïve to rule it out, and Russell has proven this season that he can very much turn into championship material.