Lewis Hamilton claims George Russell will ‘energize’ Mercedes next season when he
is paired alongside fellow Brit… who revealed the seven-time F1 world champion
‘congratulated’ him via text message on the 2022 move
Russell will join Mercedes for the 2022 campaign, replacing Valtteri Bottas who has
been Hamilton’s team-mate since 2017 after replacing Nico Rosberg.
Despite racing near the back of the field in a Williams since his 2019 debut, the 23-
year-old has impressed many within the paddock this term and the prospect of the
talented British youngster lining up alongside his compatriot and seven-time world
champion remains an exciting one.
Speaking ahead of the Italian Grand Prix this weekend, Hamilton, 36, insisted that
Russell’s arrival at the team would be a boost, jokingly referring to the world
champion outfit needing fresh blood to counter his veteran status.
‘I think the young talent that’s coming through is so great for the sport and is the
future of the sport,’ he said.
‘New, fresh blood in our team is going to be great obviously because I’m the oldie
‘I think that definitely will energize the whole team, knowing that they have a new
youngster coming through who’s super hungry, driven, and will be pushing the team
Russell also addressed the media in a separate briefing following the official
announcement of his move to Mercedes and revealed he and his future team-mate
have already been exchanging text messages of goodwill.
‘We spoke earlier this week over text, he said “congratulations, and looking forward to
being team-mates with me” and seeing how I get on,’ Russell said.
‘I said likewise, it’s a privilege for me to be lining up alongside him.
‘Obviously all these photos going around on social media of when I was a young boy
looking up to Lewis, it’s pretty crazy to see how the times have gone and lining up
alongside him next year.’
Russell and Hamilton will be the first all-British driver pairing in F1 since 2012 when
the current world champion teamed up with Jenson Button in their third year
together at McLaren
Although Hamilton has publicly welcomed Russell to the team, he was disappointed
with the team’s decision to drop Bottas who has consistently played a No 2 role to
Hamilton – a comfort he may not necessarily enjoy alongside Russell.
Russell stood in for Hamilton, who was ill with Covid, at Mercedes for last year’s
Sakhir Grand Prix and only poor luck denied him a stunning victory in Bahrain.
Hamilton’s focus this weekend will be retaking the lead in the drivers’ championship
away from chief rival Max Verstappen at the Italian Grand Prix.
The Red Bull driver took a stunning victory at his home race in Holland last weekend
ahead of Hamilton and he now leads the Brit by a mere three points heading into