Williams F1 driver George Russell has said that he is delighted to see Sir Lewis Hamilton decide to stay in the sport, after the seven-time World Champion recently inked a two-year contract extension with Mercedes.
Russell is in contention for the second Mercedes seat for 2022, and there is a good chance he will partner Hamilton at the Silver Arrows next year.
Speaking this week, the young British talent – considered by many in the F1 paddock to be a World Champion of the future – said Hamilton seems to be ageing like a fine wine.
“I’m really pleased to see Lewis staying in the sport, he’s obviously a worldwide superstar, and still performing at an exceptional level,” Russell said.
“I guess he’s like a fine wine, he keeps getting better with age. Max [Verstappen] and Red Bull seem very strong, but I’m sure Lewis is going to be pushing the whole way.
“As I say, I just think it’s really great for F1 to have a guy like Lewis staying,” he added.
Continuing, he said it would be a shame if Hamilton wasn’t on the F1 grid next year:
“If Lewis wouldn’t be on the grid next year, it would be a shame, because there would be one of the greatest of all-time not on the grid.
“For me personally, I want to compete against the best people in the world, which I think, to be honest, on the grid right now, we’ve got a very good group of drivers who deserve to be here.”
As for his own chances of landing the second Mercedes seat, Russell said he was focused on doing the best job he can for Williams and seemed confident that the Silver Arrows will reward him if he continues to perform.
“I’m really not pressurising anybody, because I just want to do the talking on the track and just focus on circuit, because I know if I do the job on the track, everything will sort itself out,” Russell said.
“Mercedes know me so well throughout all the years, and I’m in contact with them daily, as it has been for the last three years.
“They’ll get it done, when they believe it’s the right time, whichever way they decide to go,” he concluded.