From Mr Saturday to Mr Consistency, George Russell believes studying from Lewis Hamilton has allowed him to “widen that envelope” of his driving expertise.
A member of Mercedes’ junior programme since early 2017, Russell had typically had the chance to work together with Hamilton and watch how the seven-time World Champion works.
However when Mercedes promoted him into Components 1 it was with Williams, though Russell nonetheless hung out testing for the Brackley squad and even raced for them on the 2020 Sakhir Grand Prix when he crammed in for Hamilton after the Briton fell in poor health with Covid.
Stepping as much as Mercedes after his three-year apprenticeship with Williams through which he earned the moniker Mr Saturday attributable to his stellar qualifying performances, Russell has now grow to be Mr Consistency.
Ending contained in the top-five in all however one grand prix, Silverstone the place he was caught up within the first lap crash, Russell sits P4 within the Drivers’ Championship with 203 factors.
Not solely is he within the hunt for runner-up within the standings, simply 16 factors behind Charles Leclerc, however he’s additionally beating his seven-time World Champion team-mate, up on Hamilton by 35 factors.
Russell says he has Hamilton to thank for that as he’s studying an amazing deal from the 37-year-old.
“Firstly, I really feel so lucky being team-mates with Lewis as a result of it has given me such a possibility to see his strengths and the place I can be taught from him and he’s positively very robust in sure areas,” stated Russell.
“He’s at all times very robust in low-speed corners and below braking, he has at all times been very robust and it has been fascinating to see his strategy to sure points and the way he goes about it.
“There isn’t any doubt that I’ve most likely widened that envelope of my driving expertise by being his team-mate.
“There’s not likely a option to measure whether or not you’re a higher driver or not, there are such a lot of elements that go into it.”
A feather within the cap however not but successful story
Ought to Russell beat Hamilton on this yr’s championship will probably be a noddy level for the previous Williams driver, there’s little question about that, however and not using a win on the board it can uninteresting a few of that shine.
There was lots of debate forward of his Mercedes arrival as as to if it was even doable, Hamilton having just about destroyed his former team-mate Valtteri Bottas throughout their 5 years collectively.
Pundits have been divided, not solely about whether or not Russell may do it, however what it meant with Jacques Villeneuve saying “he beats Lewis that’s it as his profession has been made.”
One other former driver Karun Chandhok informed Categorical Sport: “We’re all type of utilizing that [beating Hamilton] as a option to decide the place he’s at, but it surely’s a golden alternative for him, proper?
“If he can get near Lewis or beat Lewis this yr, he’s made for all times.”
However, as Russell has already identified, if he beats Hamilton however can’t beat the complete area, ie win a grand prix, that doesn’t make 2022 a profitable season.
And, as Hamilton has stated, he spent the primary half of this season because the one doing all of the experiments whereas Russell discovered his ft at Mercedes.
Within the final eight races it’s in truth the seven-time champ who has scored probably the most factors for Mercedes, however like Russell he too is looking for a race win.
Whoever takes that, that would be the deciding think about who comes out high in 2022.