George Russell sheds light on Lewis Hamilton’s strengths after outperforming him

George Russell signed with Mercedes at the start of this year.

George Russell has been delighted with the impact Sir Lewis Hamilton has had on his career during their first season together at Mercedes.

Russell had been part of the Mercedes junior programme for two years when he signed with Williams in 2019, and he out-qualified team-mate Robert Kubica at every race.

The Pole would score their only points of the year in Germany, but that was not enough to keep him at the team, while Russell stayed on for two more years alongside Nicholas Latifi.

The 24-year-old’s first Williams points at the Hungarian Grand Prix in 2021 were followed by his first podium in Belgium, and this earned him a drive with the Silver Arrows, replacing the Alfa Romeo-bound Valtteri Bottas.

READ: George Russell says Mercedes could stun Formula 1 with radical design

Russell had previously partnered the Finn in Bahrain in 2020 when he stood in for the COVID-hit Hamilton, and he arguably would have won the race had it not been for a slow stop and a puncture.

This year, Russell has scored seven podiums to Hamilton’s six, and they are level in the qualifying battle at 8-8, so this has been a tremendous debut year with the eight-time champions for the Briton.

The seven-time champion has been experimenting with the set-up for parts of the year though due to the poorly performing W13, so Hamilton has been performing much better than the statistics might show.

Nonetheless, Russell has matched him on plenty of occasions in 2022, and alongside one of the greatest to ever do it, he is learning a lot.

Article continues below

“Firstly, I feel so fortunate being team-mates with Lewis because it has given me such an opportunity to see his strengths and where I can learn from him and he is definitely very strong in certain areas,” he said.

“He is always very strong in low-speed corners and under braking, he has always been very strong and it has been interesting to see his approach to certain issues and how he goes about it.”

The former Williams driver has been enriched as a result, and while he does not know whether he is the better driver, he can certainly say he has a bigger box of tricks now than he did last year.

READ: ‘Not any disrespect’: Mercedes make their intentions clear

“There is no doubt that I have probably widened that envelope of my driving skills by being his team-mate,” explained Russell.

“There is not really a way to measure whether you are a better driver or not, there are so many factors that go into it.”

Mercedes are third in the Constructors’ Standings heading into the final six rounds of the year, and being that they are just 35 points adrift of Ferrari, the fight for second is still on.