Russell issued warning against Hamilton: ‘That might not be the wisest thing to do’

George Russell has been offered some advice for battling Sir Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes in 2022.

Lewis Hamilton and George Russell in 2021 Qatar GP.v1

The Formula 1 paddock is looking forward to seeing George Russell partner Sir Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes next year, in what should be one of the most exciting driver pairings on the grid.

Russell managed a podium finish in the bizarre Belgian Grand Prix in 2021, while also scoring points on four occasions en route to the team’s ninth-placed finish in the Constructors’ Standings.

He will replace Valtteri Bottas at the Silver Arrows for the 2022 season, with the Finn departing for Alfa Romeo.

Hamilton to give Russell a ‘leg-up’

Former F1 racer Damon Hill, who won his title with Russell’s former Williams team in 1996, is rubbing his hands at the prospect of seeing the two Brits going head-to-head in equal machinery.

He believes that Mercedes’ decision to sign Russell as Hamilton’s team-mate won’t backfire.

“I think it will be great to watch. I’m sure Lewis will be wanting to encourage George. I don’t see it going wrong,” Hill said.

The 61-year-old reckons that Hamilton will help assist Russell’s development, as he knows that he will be around in Formula 1 many years after the serial world champion retires.

“I think Lewis recognises his timespan is shorter in the sport than George’s, so he will want to play his part in giving him a leg-up – not that he needs one, probably.”

READ: Russell joining Mercedes could be an ‘advantage’ for Red Bull

Article continues below

Russell shouldn’t ‘knock spots off’ Hamilton

Hill also believes that Russell’s mindset has to be right, and does not agree with the philosophy that he needs to attack Hamilton next season.

“It’s down to George and how he approaches it, I think. You can go into these situations and think ‘right, that’s the enemy over there and I’m out to knock spots off them’. That might not be the wisest thing to do with Lewis, I don’t think.”

The ambiguity over Russell’s approach and how relations will be at the German manufacturer in 2022 is something that entices Hill.

“That’s something to really look forward to next year. I’ll be as excited as anyone to see what will happen.”

Jenson Button, who lent his expertise to Russell as an advisor to the Williams team this year, says it is important for Russell to manage his expectations when going up against a driver of Hamilton’s talent.

READ: Hamilton ‘still too good’ to quit Formula 1 after Verstappen defeat

“He’s got to not put pressure on himself. He can’t think ‘I’ll get in the car and be quicker than Lewis on day one’,” said Button.

The 2009 world champion, who partnered Hamilton at McLaren between 2010 and 2012, thinks that Russell will need patience.

“He’s got to build up to it, otherwise he will shoot himself in the foot. You can’t be too confident alongside Lewis.”

Lewis Hamilton and George Russell in Abu Dhabi, 2021.v1

Hamilton missed out on his eighth drivers’ title as Max Verstappen emerged victorious in 2021 after a controversial season finale in Abu Dhabi.

Questions have been raised about his motivation to continue racing in Formula 1 following this, but he remains set to partner Russell at Mercedes next year.

Follow us on Google News to never miss an F1 story