Lewis Hamilton says he isn’t ‘passing the baton’ to George Russell & Lando Norris

Lewis Hamilton is in his twilight years in Formula 1 and it has been speculated he could retire at the end of 2023.

Lewis Hamilton has shown some patriotism ahead of the British Grand Prix this Sunday, picking George Russell and Lando Norris as the two most exciting talents in the sport.

His teammate George Russell, aged 25, has firmly established himself as one of the grid’s hottest prospects since making his F1 debut in 2019.

He beat Hamilton in the Drivers’ Standings at the end of his debut Mercedes season last year.

Russell also claimed a podium spot at the Spanish Grand Prix this year, finishing third.

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McLaren driver Norris meanwhile, is only 23 years old, and has been widely tipped to be the aging Hamilton’s long term successor at the Silver Arrows.

Hamilton said: “It’s not passing the baton, but knowing we have other great British drivers will prolong the success of the Brits moving forwards.

“Our fan base will always have good drivers [to cheer for] because we generally develop good drivers in the UK.

“George and Lando are both incredibly talented and have such a bright future ahead of them.

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“It’s crazy to think they are as young as they are. Lando is 23 but has been here for ages.

“I’m excited to watch their journey and where they get to.”

Hamilton’s encouraging comments come after Norris admitted he wished to emulate the success of the seven-time world champion.

Norris had a close battle with Hamilton during the Austrian Grand Prix last Sunday, before crossing the line ahead of his Mercedes rival.

The McLaren racer explained that he was trying to learn from Hamilton without asking him too many questions – he wants to understand the 38-year-old’s mindset.

Norris said: “I have so much respect for him and what he’s been able to achieve in F1.”

“He’s part of the reason I’m an F1 driver, so it’s weird thinking I’m now racing against him.”

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He continued: “I am not always the guy who asks a lot of questions to these kind of people to get to know what they’re like and what they think.

“I do it in a more subtle way and just try to understand how they think and their thought processes and kind of understand what makes them special.

“I’m just happy to spend time with people who are at the top of whatever sport they are in, people I have a huge amount of respect for.”