A young British driver, George Russell, joined the elite F1 racing outfit Mercedes back in 2022. He transitioned from the bottom-placed team, Williams, to a championship contender team just three years into his F1 career. However, the transition didn’t pan out as preset expectations as Russell witnessed evident struggles.
After regulation changes, Mercedes witnessed an imminent downfall in 2022. And George Russell was caught in the center of the chaos. While he did secure his career maiden win in his first season, Russell has struggled to make a space for himself. Moreover, former motorsport driver Mika Hakkinen believes having Lewis Hamilton as a teammate has added extra pressure onto Russell.
George Russell Failing To Keep Up With Lewis Hamilton, Believes Mika Hakkinen
Lewis Hamilton has been associated with Mercedes since 2013. He won a record six championship titles in the past decade to equal Michael Schumacher‘s world record. Thus, the Briton has built a good rapport with the engineers and mechanics. That helps in better communication when it comes to data analysis. On the contrary, George Russell is struggling to find his footing with the team. Meanwhile, former racing driver Mika Hakkinen suggests having a world champion as a teammate is working against Russell. Mika said the Silver Arrows is Lewis Hamilton’s team. Thus, Russell has a constant need to prove he deserves to be with the top team over other desired candidates.
While George managed to outperform Hamilton in 2022, the tables turned in 2023. Lewis Hamilton finished the 2023 season third in the championship, whereas George Russel slipped to eighth position. “It doesn’t matter if you finish on the podium if your teammate has won. That applies to all teams. But George is racing against a record champion,” Hakkinen said. The former driver also added that Silver Arrows needs to have clarity in roles to avoid conflicts in the future. Having said that, Russell has time and again said how being a teammate to a seven-time world champion brings out the best in him. Also, the Briton has outperformed Lewis on multiple occasions. Thus, George feels he has proved himself to be one of the top drivers of the sport. Regardless, the upcoming season remains crucial for both the British drivers as the team’s pride is at stake.
Russell, Hamilton Extends Partnership With Mercedes
Despite repeated on-track conflicts, Lewis Hamilton and George Russell remain committed to Mercedes. Last season, both the British drivers signed two-year extension contracts. Thus, Russell and Hamilton will continue to remain teammates until the end of the 2025 F1 season. However, to ensure a smooth workflow, both drivers must work in harmony.
In 2023, George Russell and Lewis Hamilton were at loggerheads with one another. Moreover, team principal Toto Wolff also confessed to a lack of communication with the two fierce drivers. Regardless, Mercedes is confident of finding a middle ground. The team firmly believes the British duo can work together and put the team’s needs first under any given circumstances.
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