Lewis Hamilton's initial impression of his new F1 teammate George Russell

Lewis Hamilton has described George Russell’s arrival at Mercedes for the 2022 Formula 1 season as “seamless”.
Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 and George Russell (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1.
Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 and George Russell (GBR) Mercedes AMG…
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Russell makes the step up to Mercedes from Williams after three impressive years with the Grove outfit. 

It’s the first time Mercedes has changed its driver pairing since Nico Rosberg announced his shock retirement at the end of 2016, meaning Valtteri Bottas was drafted in as his replacement.

Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1.
Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1.
© xpbimages.com

Bottas spent five years alongside Hamilton, with the latter winning four out of five drivers’ championships, while Mercedes remained unbeaten in the constructors’.

Speaking during the Bahrain pre-season test, Hamilton said that Russell had settled in well as he was no stranger to the team given he has been part of Mercedes’ young driver programme since 2017.

“He’s gelled very easily into the team,” Hamilton said. “It has been pretty similar to when we worked together previously within in the engineering room for, I think, plenty of races in the past where he just sat behind me and I watched everything I did and the same with Valtteri [Bottas]. 

“He knew everyone so it’s been seamless. We’re working together, communicating a lot in terms of setup direction, so it’s working really well.”

“I have no idea when the first time we started working together was. I just remember him being in the engineers' room with us and feeling very much a part of the team and one of my teammates before this year. So that’s why it’s been quite easy.”

With Russell expected to pose a bigger threat than his predecessor Bottas, Mercedes could have a tricky intra-team fight to team with.

However, so far, Hamilton says Russell has been “the best team player he can be”.

“I think George is naturally incredibly talented, very, very focussed,” he said. “So far, it seems, very genuine and he’s just focused on being the best team player he can be. That’s so far from what I see. As I said, it’s pleasant for everyone in the team, it seems very seamless and everyone’s just working, keeping their heads down and we are working collectively as a team and as a unit.”

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