1996 F1 champion Damon Hill says George Russell has “absolutely stamped his authority and credentials” on Mercedes, but he is “starting to find out quite what a competitor Lewis is”.
For almost the first half of the 2022 season George Russell has been having better results than Lewis Hamilton. It has since been revealed that Lewis has been sacrificing his performance to help the team improve their car.
During his appearance of the F1 Nation podcast, Damon Hill said that by outscoring Hamilton, George has definitely shown the team he is the real deal.
“He’s come into this very difficult situation,” Hill said.
“He’s absolutely stamped his authority and credentials on this team and also as a viable contender and a viable teammate to Lewis Hamilton.
“There’s not many people that have managed to not be crushed by that relationship.”
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However, after Lewis started focusing on his own performance, he quickly started outperforming his young team-mate. Hill says this had to be noted by the young Briton.
“When Lewis has started to be more motivated, which he seems to be this latter half of the season, sniffing the opportunities of better results, I think George is starting to find out quite what a competitor Lewis is.”
Hill adds that he expects both Hamilton and Russell to fight for top spots on the podium next year.
“There’s a good chance that Lewis could be fighting for the championship again next year, as could George,” the Briton concluded.