Hamilton finished sixth in the 2022 F1 standings, his worst-ever result while not winning a single race for the first time, but Mercedes teammate Russell finished fourth and won a maiden grand prix in Brazil.

Although Hamilton, aged 37, will vie to win an all-time record eighth F1 championship next year by wrestling the title back from Max Verstappen, he may find competition from inside the Mercedes garage.

F1 2023 driver line-up - who will underachieve?

“I think I’ve got enough experience now that I feel ready to fight for a championship and be able to handle the challenges and difficulties that come with it,” Russell told Racer.

“Obviously the likes of Lewis and Max have more experience in that scenario. But if you go out and you put it on pole and win every race you will be world champion. So you have just got to focus on smaller details and it’s in your own hands, almost.”

Russell outperformed Hamilton in the early parts of 2022 as Mercedes battled porpoising, leading to questions about the seven-time world champion’s ability at that stage.

It has since emerged that each driver ran different experiments in a desperate attempt to shed the W13 of its problems.

Russell did, however, emerge from a debut season alongside Hamilton with incredible credit.

“We went through the stats and statistically I finished ahead of my teammates, I think 95% of the time, in the five years prior to my year here,” the ex-Williams driver said. 

“So I was used to a certain level of outscoring them or whatever you want to call it. 

“But then I had to say: ‘If it’s 55/45 in my favour, even if I lose 45% of the time, that’s going to still be incredibly successful against Lewis’.

“So psychologically you need to set yourself up for small failures. I’m not going to beat him every single session, every quali, every race, that’s just absolutely not going to happen. 

“But having a year like we’ve had this year, I don’t know what the numbers are, but it probably is 55/45, roughly. And that’s an incredibly successful year, and almost equivalent to maybe what the 95/5 was for me previously.

“I always believed in myself, but definitely it’s always a mindset. And if you go with the mindset that I’m going to beat Lewis Hamilton 95% of the time, you’re going to come away disappointed.”