Hamilton had the edge over Russell, particularly on race day in F1 2023, finishing five places ahead of him in the final championship standings.
However, in qualifying, the pair were evenly matched, with the head-to-head equal at 11-11.
Mercedes ultimately went winless for the first time since 2011 as Red Bull won 21 of the 22 races.
Herbert, who won three F1 races during his impressive career, believes Mercedes are still capable of producing a world championship-winning machine.
“But I still think there are enough clever people at Mercedes to be able to produce a car that can actually win races and win a world championship, yes, absolutely,” he told Genting Casino.
“Potentially, the guy that’s going to make it difficult if they get those ingredients altogether is George.
“I think George will probably be the one that may, where it might slip away, because George, I think is more than capable of being able to lead a team and has enough willpower, mental capacity, to absorb all the pressures that come when you win races and are nearer to a world championship.
“So I think he could be the one that maybe stops that eighth, but I think overall he’s still got the drive, that’s for sure, Lewis.”