The sport is littered with intriguing rivalries that often spill off the track but there has always been a deep respect among the competitors.

Russell is among a younger crop of emerging stars who raced against each other as kids, and whose friendship is now tested by their presence in rival F1 teams.

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“Well, firstly, we’re obviously all competitors,” the Mercedes driver told Square Mile

“We’re all highly competitive. I wouldn’t say there are huge rivalries on the track, but once the helmet’s on, you’re all there competing to beat one another. 

“But there’s definitely an element of understanding between all of us, whether that’s understanding a person who’s struggling for performance personally, whether it’s understanding the person who’s struggling in their team and the results aren’t there. 

“Or even understanding the guy who’s winning and the stresses and pressures that come with that.

“One of the most mentally fatiguing moments of my year last year was actually when I won the race in Brazil because there were so many emotions that I went through during the race, so many emotions after the race, so much attention from the media and the cameras, so much love and support from friends and families and social media. 

“It was almost overwhelming at points and it’s a completely different dynamic. 

“That was quite eye opening for me, the pressures and the mental toll of winning a race. It’s not easy.

“I think between all the 20 drivers, we get one another: we’re just one of 20, we’re the only ones in this position. 

“We don’t necessarily offer support because the friendships aren’t quite that close, maybe between one or two, but definitely there’s an understanding.”

The 2022 line-up of F1 drivers went out together for a rare moment of togetherness at the end of last season, to celebrate Sebastian Vettel’s career after his retirement was confirmed.

Lewis Hamilton was credited with organising the dinner - and paying for it!