Russell says having Hamilton as a team-mate has ‘saved him’

© Sebastian Kawka for Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix ltd.

George Russell says having Lewis Hamilton as a team-mate has ‘saved’ him “in some regard”, amid Mercedes’ performance issues.

In an interview with Square Mile, George Russell talked about his experiences as Lewis Hamilton’s team-mate.

“For me, being teammates with Lewis is such a golden opportunity,” the Briton said.

“Especially now that the car isn’t performing as we want, having him as my team-mate has saved me in some regard, because if he had retired or left the sport when I joined the team, and we took this step backwards, people would be pointing the blame towards me!

“But I feel like now I’ve proven my worth and I’ve proven what I’m capable of, so there’s no pressure in that regard. I’m out there to do the best job possible and I think that is a very fortunate position to be in.

“I’m not worried about any statistics or making sure that I’m on Lewis’s pace or whatever because I feel like I showed that last year, there’s already been two races this year and I qualified ahead both times, and the pace was very close between the two of us in the race.

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“What a position to be in to go up against the greatest ever.”

George was then asked to reveal one key thing he learned from Lewis.

“I think he’s a very good people person. He’s very good at getting the most out of the people around him, motivating the team. He’s very resilient, he’s always pushing himself further.

“And he has a lot of hobbies as well away from the sport, which I think is really interesting, because it allowed him to take his mind away from the racing and to be in a better head space for when he comes back.

“We’re obviously at very different stages of our career, but I’m definitely taking inspiration from how he conducts himself, how he approaches his racing and how he approaches his life.

“He’s very impressive,” Russell concluded.

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