Russell was promoted to Mercedes after three impressive years at Williams in place of Valtteri Bottas, who often served as Hamilton’s wingman.

The 25-year-old enjoyed an impressive first season with Mercedes, winning at the Sao Paulo Grand Prix, and finishing ahead of Hamilton in the drivers’ championship.

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Hamilton struggled with the W13, while the events of Abu Dhabi 2021 likely played a role in the early part of the season.

In an interview with M4 Sport, Hamilton opened up on his struggles last year, likening it to his year being teammates with Alonso, when he was in Russell’s position of being the young star in a top team.

“I would say last year, totally transparent, for sure I felt it,” he said. “George had nothing to lose and everything to gain. If he finished behind me they would say ‘well you finished behind a seven-time world champion’ and if he finished ahead then ‘you’re a legend’. I know exactly what that feeling was like and I had exactly the same with Fernando. 

“If I finished behind him they would say ‘we expect that it’s your first year’ and if I finished ahead of him, I was great. But of course, when you’re then struggling with the car and not feeling you’re able to extract your full potential it was not easy - it was stressful.”

F1 2023 is another story with Hamilton out-performing Russell consistently, sitting 49 points clear in the standings.

“This year I don’t find that at all and I feel back in the swing of things,” he added.