George Russell has been reflecting on his first season as Lewis Hamilton’s teammate at Mercedes, with the young Briton admitting that it’s “not easy” to race alongside the seven-time World Champion.
Russell – who replaced Valtteri Bottas at the Silver Arrows for 2022 following a three-year stint at Williams – endured a tough start to his debut campaign, with the team struggling to match the pace of Red Bull and Ferrari.
Despite this, the 24-year-old became a regular points-scorer and ended the year P4 in the World Championship on 275 points, while Hamilton finished a career-low P6 with 240 points.
Russell also scored his debut F1 victory at the Brazilian Grand Prix in a 1-2 result for Mercedes.
Russell reflects on being Hamilton’s teammate
After a difficult beginning to the season, Russell admits that the team have been on quite a journey throughout the campaign, which has also seen him being pushed to the “limit” by Hamilton.
“I feel very fortunate to be in this team, teammates with Lewis, learning a huge amount, being pushed to my limits,” Russell told the F1 Nation podcast after the season-closing Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
“It’s not easy being teammates with somebody as fast and great as he is. But it has been a great year in many regards.
“What we all do, every single person in this paddock, we are so fortunate to travel the world, us driving the fastest cars in the world around the best tracks in the world.
“I’m knackered now, but still, there’s a lot to look back and be happy about.”
Mercedes aim to ‘come out fighting’ in Bahrain
While Russell is able to see the positives from 2022 – most notably his win in Brazil – he acknowledges that the squad want to achieve much more next season.
“We’ve got to take the positives away from the season,” he explained.
“The journey we’ve been on as a team has been immense but, by our standards, it’s definitely not enough.
“But there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Everybody’s going to be working immensely hard over the winter, and we’re going to hopefully come out next season [in] Bahrain, fighting and challenging those guys in red and blue.”