Sir Lewis Hamilton is enjoying his partnership with George Russell at Mercedes after a solid start to the year from the 24-year-old.
Mercedes are evidently not where they want to be after half of the 2022 season; they sit third in the Constructors’ Standings, 122 points off leaders Red Bull.
The German side have managed seven podiums too, all of which have been third-placed finishes, and four of them have arrived consecutively in the last four races.
They are yet to have both Hamilton and Russell on the rostrum, and winning a race, though it might have looked on in Silverstone, has not materialised either.
As for the intra-team battle, the younger Briton leads the qualifying battle 6-5, and he is ahead 7-4 in race trim, although the seven-time world champion has finished ahead of his team-mate in each of the last three.
Several questions as to Russell’s adeptness to a faster car having made the move from Williams have been answered so far this season, and while he has proven an ample challenge for Hamilton on-track, the 37-year-old holds a splendid relationship with him off it.
“I won’t say it’s been tough, it’s been pleasant, we’ve worked together incredibly well,” Hamilton told Formula1.com.
“George has been super positive… had a positive impact on the work environment, it’s generally been a real pleasure to work with him and it’s been great to see his success.
“He’s done such a great job, got great points for the team and he’s going to continue to improve, he’s going to continue to improve for a long time.”
In Russell, Hamilton sees a long-term Mercedes team leader in the making after seeing his pace and performance this year.
“I definitely see that he’s got so much potential in him [to be a world champion] and he’s in the right place for it as well,” he added.
“I really think that… whether or not I’m here, he has all the qualities to help take this team forward in the future and lead them to success, so I think it’s been the right choice for the team.
“I hope I can be a little bit of a part of helping him progress.”
Hamilton enters the French Grand Prix this weekend fresh from his third-placed finish last time out in Austria, while Russell is aiming to climb back up to the rostrum having recovered to fourth in Spielberg following contact on the opening lap with Sergio Perez.
The smooth track surface at Paul Ricard is expected to help the Silver Arrows challenge Red Bull and Ferrari, much like they did in Silverstone.