George Russell calls Hamilton a Captain and explains team dynamics
George Russell of Mercedes has discussed his friendship with seven-time champion teammate Lewis Hamilton, as well as if there is an intra-team rivalry, ahead of the fourth round of the 2022 season at Imola.
Russell joined Mercedes for the 2022 season, becoming the first junior driver to be promoted to the works team, and the Briton won his maiden podium for the Silver Arrows at the Australian Grand Prix, outscoring Hamilton for the second race in a row to finish second in the standings.
The statement made by George Russell
George Russell said that once can see that sometimes when you have two drivers at various phases of their careers… with Mercedes, there is no number one or number two, but all drivers are competing for that top leadership spot: He said that he wants to be the one.'”
Whereas for both of them, there isn’t that because Lewis Hamilton has been here for so long; he is the new kid on the grid. He added that he is not going to attempt to be the team leader when he is going up against the greatest of all time who’s been here for ten years. He’s like the team’s captain, and that’s the way it should be. Russell added
Mercedes’ newest driver recruit went on to say that he admires Hamilton, notably his mentality, which allows him to balance F1 and his other passions.
Russell thinks this is something Lewis does that he admires. He puts a lot of effort into dabbling in other sports or music as a way to divert his attention away from his problems. Meanwhile, Russell is so focused on his racing – he gives all to be successful inside that cockpit – but you can overdo it sometimes, and if you don’t take a second to breathe, you’ll drown in it and not get the most out of your performance.
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George Russell ahead of Hamilton at the moment
Mercedes is second in both championships heading into the first Sprint of 2022, with two podiums (courtesy of Hamilton in Bahrain and Russell in Australia) and points from both drivers in each of the first three rounds. Russell believes the Silver Arrows will bounce back, even if they aren’t currently at a level where they can compete for the crown.
George Russell on porpoising
It’s not only the porpoising; there are other concerns that need to be addressed as well. There’s a lot of discussion about car weight, and they’re certainly not the lightest car on the grid. Mercedes is trying to improve the engine and make it more efficient – obviously, you’ve got the stable regulations now, but there’s some more they could be doing to get the most out of the engine, which Russell believes some of the other guys are doing a slightly better job of at the moment, and obviously the porpoising issue.
They have a variety of approaches and restrictions, Russell stated, which gives me hope and confidence that if they get on top of it over time, Mercedes will find a significant chunk of lap time.