Mika Hakkinen warns Lewis Hamilton about George Russell

Despite Mercedes’ porpoising woes in 2022, George Russell impressively finished fourth in the drivers’ championship in his debut season for Mercedes.

When George Russell signed for Mercedes ahead of the 2022 season, he would have been excited at the prospect of learning from seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton.

As it turned out, the 24-year-old shockingly managed to outscore the 38-year-old in his debut season with the team, despite previously having only fought towards the back of the grid with Williams.

Mercedes got their development pathway under the new regulations completely wrong, leading to the team producing a W13 that lacked the pace of Red Bull and Ferrari and harboured a major porpoising problem.

Despite his team’s struggles, Russell was a consistent top five finisher over the course of the season and even picked up the Silver Arrow’s only win of the season at the Brazilian Grand Prix.

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Lewis Hamilton has suggested that the only reason that he was outscored by Russell was because he was more experimental with his setups in order to help Mercedes fix their performance issues, while his teammate extracted the maximum from his W13.

Former F1 champion Mika Hakkinen has praised Russell’s start to life at Mercedes and claimed that he has the capability to keep Hamilton behind him for years to come, should he be able to keep up his current performance levels.

“What he did in Brazil, it was brilliant. The team has improved the car massively, so they can win races,” Hakkinen told TG.com.

“If he can keep with that experience what he has in Mercedes, and the experience what he has in Formula 1 in general, he can keep Lewis behind. It’s really impressive.

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“Because Lewis is incredible. Incredible personality, incredible driver. So if George can go for it, then I think England can look like ‘Wow, what a driver we have.”

Having made such a bright start to life at Mercedes, Russell will be hoping to challenge for the drivers’ championship this year, which will come as bad news for Hamilton.

The 38-year-old has explained his desire to retire as a champion but if his teammate continues to outperform him, a record breaking eighth world title will be difficult to achieve before he calls time on his illustrious racing career.