After months of speculation, Mercedes announced on Tuesday that Russell will replace Valtteri Bottas to partner seven-times world champion Hamilton from next season after spending three years at Williams.

Speaking in an earlier press conference on Thursday ahead of this weekend’s Italian Grand Prix, Russell said Mercedes had made it “very clear” to him that he will be on “level terms” with Hamilton in 2022.

Hamilton revealed he gave Mercedes positive feedback on Russell when discussing the team’s plans with Toto Wolff and made it clear he would not attempt to prevent a younger driver from becoming his teammate.

“That’s not really my style,” Hamilton insisted. “I think ever since I joined this team, I remember joining in 2013 and I remember saying to Ross [Brawn, former Mercedes boss] that I just want equal opportunity.

“I think that’s the most rewarding position to be in because if you do the work and you do succeed you know you’ve done the job against whoever it is at their best.

“Winning when someone’s wings are clipped, that’s not something that interests me, so that was never a thought.”

Hamilton said he is expecting Russell, who has been tipped as a future world champion following his starring performances for Williams and achievements in the junior ranks, to “bring the heat” to Mercedes next season.

“Naturally, he’s part of that young group,” Hamilton said. “The young talent that’s coming through is so great for the sport and the future of the sport.

“I think new fresh blood in our team is going to be great because I’m the oldie there, and I think that definitely will energise the whole team knowing that they have a new youngster coming through who is super hungry, driven and will be pushing the team forwards.  

“I’ve watched George come through Formula 3, Formula 2 and of course I have watched a lot of the racing he has done and moves he has done, and there’s no doubt he is incredibly talented.

“I’ve not looked into detail where he is weak, that’s not something I put much energy towards. I just know he will continue to get stronger, even in these next nine races, and next year he will be bringing the heat for sure.”

And Hamilton believes Mercedes can avoid a repeat of the troubles he encountered during fierce rivalries with former teammates Nico Rosberg and Fernando Alonso.

“History has shown that it can and history has shown that it can’t,” Hamilton added. “It’s different in each team and is ultimately how it’s managed.

“It’s quite a strange sport in that it is a team sport but also an individual sport, so you have the two championships and individually you want to finish ahead, but at the same time you’ve got to do the job to get the team ahead.

“It’s a difficult one to navigate through, but I like to think we have experienced it and lived through it, and therefore we should be pretty well set to move forwards.”