Hamilton has been congratulatory to George Russell, his Mercedes teammate, for claiming the first win of his career at last weekend’s F1 Sao Paulo Grand Prix.

It represented Mercedes’ only victory of 2022 and may prove to be Russell’s breakthrough moment as a future title challenger.

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"I think obviously Lewis doesn't want George beating him because Lewis wants to win every race as a racing driver," Button, an ex-teammate of Hamilton’s, told Sky.

"Five years earlier if George came into the team we'd see a different Lewis Hamilton in terms of his views on his teammate and opinions on him.

"Lewis is such a rounded character now in terms of the way he goes racing. He's had so much success in the sport.

“He probably won't be racing for so many years so he's probably thinking 'this guy is basically as good as it gets for people in their 20s right now, I'm in my late 30s and still able to fight him or beat him'.

"I think Lewis is very comfortable in himself, I think it's a really good driver pairing.

"They are both very respectful and that's the first thing you need, to be respectful and to be telling the truth in terms of set up, being open with your opinions and that's the only way they're going to work together and build as a team."

Hamilton has also had competitive teammates in Valtteri Bottas, Nico Rosberg and, in his debut season, Fernando Alonso.

Hamilton is now a seven-time world champion whose hopes of claiming the all-time record, by which time he will be at least 38, hinge on his car and team’s ability to beat Max Verstappen and Red Bull.

The issues thrown up in the relationship between Verstappen and his teammate Sergio Perez in Brazil offer an intriguing insight - how will Hamilton and Russell’s cooperation develop in 2023?

"They are both alpha drivers and this is good," Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff said.

"We don't want a puppy in the car. We manage that as well as we can."

Hamilton said to Sky before finishing second behind Russell in Brazil: "I'm a lot older and I've been with the team so long.

"So managing whatever challenges we come up with moving forward, we've been through so much that I don't think it's going to be a problem.

"I've seen what he did at Williams. I think naturally you have to say it's impressive what he's done this year, the consistency he's had, how he's arrived and just hit the ground running.

"It's not like he arrived in a completely brand new team. The previous couple of years he was sitting right behind me watching the work that I was doing with the engineers.

"It's been super easy to blend in. He uses my steering wheel, and he's obviously got to do the test days prior to the year, so I think he's just blended in perfectly and he's been a positive force in the team.

"He's helped keep the equilibrium in the team. In terms of the working relationship? I think it's strong."

Russell said: "In some ways I've felt like a bit of a rookie this year because the level at which this team operates on is a level that I've never experienced before, and I'm talking about things that I'd never even heard of in F1 before.

"That took me some time to learn and understand how to get the most out of the team, out of the car.

"The capability within this team is huge and the potential is huge, and learning to use all the resources at our disposal to bring more performance, is a lot more than I've ever been used to and it took me a little bit of a while to wrap my head around that."