The British duo are settling into their work alongside each other, which this week intensifies with the unofficial testing session for the W13 in Barcelona where the other nine teams will also be present. Although Russell has arrived at Mercedes as a young, hungry prospect with future World Championship aspirations, he initially goes up against a colleague who will be driven by the desire to avenge the agonizing loss of his
World Championship to Max Verstappen in controversial circumstances. And at the age of 37, Hamilton has shown no sign of his powers starting to wane, looking every bit as good in 2021 – if not better – as he ever has. That is something Russell, 13 years his team-mate’s junior, says provides him with huge motivation to derive the maximum from the privileged opportunity he has been given.
And so it begins. 🖤 pic.twitter.com/3Jaw7eYYHc
— George Russell (@GeorgeRussell63) February 18, 2022
“Lewis is a fighter and a racer and his absolute main priority is to be the best version of himself when he hits the track in Bahrain for race one,” said Russell, quoted by the BBC. “He knows what it takes to be World Champion and what preparation he needs over the course of a pre-season to prepare himself best for that first race. “It always amazes me how someone so talented and successful continues to strive for more.
That is incredibly inspiring and motivational for me to try and reach the heights he has achieved. “And what an opportunity for me to learn from him and see how he goes about his business. I think we will have a really good relationship and we can really work together to push the team forwards.” Depending on how quickly Russell is able to maximise the performance of his W13, an internal battle could evolve at Mercedes –
but they also need to look beyond their own boundaries. The new 2022 regulations mean it may not only be a head-to-head fight for championship supremacy with Red Bull, but that other teams could also get into the mix. “Lewis and I need to work together,” added Russell. “We can’t focus too much on each other because things are constantly changing and that’s why we need to take a step back.
“We hear rumours from all the other teams of how much they are developing. “F1 developed this rule set with the idea the cars would be around four seconds slower, but we are already hearing from every single team they are far, far faster than that. “We hope Mercedes will still be the fastest team, the fastest car on the grid, but there are no guarantees. We need to not be naive to that and work together to ensure we are.”