A fascinating talking point as the 2023 F1 season looms is the relationship between the Mercedes teammates, both of whom have state that they want the championship for themselves.

Seven-time champion Hamilton didn’t win a grand prix for the first time in his career last year, but Russell claimed Mercedes’ sole victory in Brazil in a major statement of intent.

Why we need to take George Russell more seriously...

“I think Lewis started last year probably a little bit frustrated, knowing the car wasn't great,” Herbert told Total-Motosport.

"I don't think he had the right mental approach because he was probably frustrated, as a racing driver would be as a seven-time world champion, trying to get eighth, which was taken away from him."

“Now, that opportunity has reset to get himself mentally and physically prepared. 

“It's a good thing, maybe for Lewis, knowing that the pressure is going to be really hot from George.

"It can be a very positive thing for a driver to know your team-mate is going to be strong, to be pushed. You know you need to up your game straightaway. 

“Lewis has done that in the past but he's coming to the end of his career.

“Things change as you get older and when you have a young whippersnapper coming in, who's hungry for that success, there is going to be a crossover at some point.

"Will that be this year? I would be surprised. But I think it's going to be a mighty, tight tussle with George very hungry to try and take the reins away from Lewis, who won't give up very easily as well. That's what we want."

Russell finished above Hamilton in the F1 standings last year, in a year blighted by their W13’s performance issues.

Hamilton, now 38, knows time is running out to set the all-time record by winning an eighth championship.

Meanwhile, ex-racing drivers Herbert and Paul di Resta will no longer be a part of Sky Sports’ F1 broadcast in the UK.