Russell admits he’s encountered some ‘intriguing’ Hamilton traits

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George Russell has touched on the “intriguing” traits he has seen on Lewis Hamilton’s data over their first half a season as teammates.

Russell made the step up to Mercedes for 2022 after three years with Williams, joining forces with seven-time World Champion Hamilton.

After what he has described as a “relatively good” start to the campaign, Russell leads Hamilton in their qualifying and race head-to-heads.

He also holds 19 more points at this stage of the season, having finished in the top five in all bar one race – when he retired at Silverstone.

Russell says the positive start has helped to boost his confidence, but also pointed to how much he is benefitting from Hamilton’s presence.

Russell on the “luxury” of being Hamilton’s teammate

“Obviously, it’s done my confidence more good than if I started on the backfoot and if I was behind,” Russell told the Beyond the Grid podcast.

“I think it’s been clear over the past few years [that] it’s not easy changing teams and going somewhere new when there’s already an established driver on the other side of the garage.

“At the end of the day, this is Lewis’ territory. He’s been here for 10 years, he’s won however many championships with the team, and they’ve had so much success together, so I never thought it was going to be easy.”

Asked if he has noticed Hamilton doing anything differently from the data they share, Russell teased: “There are some traits that he definitely carries that a really intriguing for me.

“I’m
not going to share those now, because I’m the only driver on this grid
who has the luxury of being teammates with the greatest driver of all
time.”

Russell using tennis to guide his F1 career

However, rather than simply copying Hamilton’s traits, Russell made reference to tennis and the success shared by Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic in the modern era.

“You’ve got probably the three greatest tennis players of all time, with three totally different approaches to their game,” continued the 24-year-old.

“I
think to be the best, or to at least be the best version of yourself,
you shouldn’t go out there and copy what the best has done. He’s the
best because he’s got the best out of himself and whatever he does works for him.

“In the world of tennis, who do you copy? Do you copy Nadal? Do you copy Federer? Do you copy Djokovic?

“Obviously in the world of motorsport there’s only Lewis for now, but that analogy made me think, ‘You just need to
do what’s right for you’, as those three greats in tennis have done.”



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