Russell hails “exceptional” Hamilton for taking fight to “far superior” Red Bull

George Russell has praised future Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton for his recent run of performances in Formula 1, describing them as “pretty exceptional”.
George Russell (GBR) Williams Racing in the FIA Press Conference.
George Russell (GBR) Williams Racing in the FIA Press Conference.
© FIA Pool Image for Editorial Use

Hamilton has won the last three consecutive grands prix to move level on points with Max Verstappen in the drivers’ championship.

Hamilton will need to beat Verstappen on track to secure a record-breaking eighth world title.

Speaking ahead of this weekend’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Russell hailed Hamilton for his performances given that Red Bull has enjoyed a “far superior car” at times this season.

“For me, I would love to see Lewis win,” Russell said. “What he achieved especially recently has been pretty exceptional and to even be in the fight altogether when Red Bull had such a far superior car at the start of the year when you look back at the start, they managed to win three of the first four races when Red Bull was clearly the quickest package out there.

“Max has done an exceptional job. You can argue that they both deserve to win for different reasons but hopefully, it’s a clean and fair race and the best man wins.”

Drivers up and down the paddock have been given their opinion on F1’s first intra-team title decider since 2012.

Two-time F1 champion Fernando Alonso believes Verstappen is more deserving of the title for his consistent performances throughout the year.

2007 world champion Kimi Raikkonen gave a typical response when asked for his opinion, but when pushed for an answer, chose Verstappen and Red Bull.

“Honestly, whoever has the most points will win and I don’t know if there’s a right or wrong or whoever is going to win it,” Raikkonen added.

“It doesn’t matter for me who wins, but if I had to choose one, I would probably go for the Red Bull, for something different.”

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