Russell and Hamilton struck a strong working relationship in their first season as teammates together during a hugely difficult campaign for Mercedes, who spent much of F1 2022 as the third-fastest team and playing catch up to close the deficit to rivals Red Bull and Ferrari after a major regulation overhaul dramatically shook up the pecking order. 

Despite the challenges, Russell impressed in his debut season with Mercedes, claiming his maiden grand prix victory - and the team’s first of the year - at the Sao Paulo Grand Prix on his way to fourth place in the drivers’ standings and his highest-ever championship finish. 

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Speaking as part of a wide-ranging interview with selected media, including Crash.net, ahead of his breakthrough F1 win in Brazil, the 24-year-old expressed confidence at maintaining healthy relations with Hamilton. 

“If you are fighting for one-twos there will be a slightly different dynamic and that’s only natural,” Russell said in response to a question from Crash.net

“But I think the thing we have going for us is the fact that we are at very different stages of our career. It kind of feels like we are in this together, really. 

"If we get to next year and we’ve got a car that’s capable of one-two finishes, we will have a huge amount of pride in thinking we have contributed together in helping the team achieve this. And then we go about our business. 

“But we’ve got no reason to have conflict. We have got a good relationship. We need to give each other respect, and I think we gave each other respect in Mexico, as an example. 

“We recognise the importance of that within the whole team. If our relationship starts to break up, it’s going to have an impact on the team and ultimately it’s going to go full circle and affect us as well. 

“I think we can continue to build off this and if anything our relationship will probably get closer as time goes on.” 

Russell 'proud' of F1 2022 season 

In finishing two places and 35 points clear of Hamilton, Russell became just the third driver - after Jenson Button in 2011 and Nico Rosberg in 2016 - to beat Hamilton in the same car over the course of an F1 season.

Russell had repeatedly downplayed the importance of finishing ahead of Hamilton throughout his maiden campaign with Mercedes. 

Asked by Crash.net if he takes any personal satisfaction from his performances against Hamilton, Russell said: “For sure I’m pleased to one degree of how my personal performance has gone. 

“It’s no secret that Lewis had a bit of a tricky run at the start of this season, so that gave me an opportunity to rack up probably some more points. But equally, it’s been pretty even between the two of us and that’s been good for me. 

“When you are a racing driver, you want to be the fastest every single time you hit the track. And being even is also something that is a difficult pill to swallow, because we all believe in ourselves and you always believe you can get the best out of it. 

“But when you’ve got someone such as Lewis alongside you, performing at such a [high] level, week-in, week-out, you are never ever going to be able to be quickest within your team every single week. 

“The amount of points we’ve scored this year would have been enough to finish P3 in the championship last year. And considering that’s with a car that’s been over a second off the pace at times, I take a lot of pride in that.”