Hamilton ready to help Russell become next British F1 champion

Lewis Hamilton says he is ready to step in and help George Russell become the next British Formula 1 world champion when they become team-mates at Mercedes next season.

Hamilton ready to help Russell become next British F1 champion

While Hamilton is expecting nothing less than a strong challenge from Russell when he steps up from Williams to replace Valtteri Bottas next year, the seven-time champion senses a golden opportunity to help guide his new team-mate.

He thinks that 23-year-old Russell’s positive attitude and strong work ethic, allied to them being at difference stages of their careers with Hamilton 13 years his senior, opens an opportunity for them to work together as well.

Speaking to selected media including Autosport about his thoughts on Russell’s arrival, Hamilton said: “I’m in a different place. I really want to see him succeed.

“There’s going to be a point where I don’t continue in this sport. He’s my team-mate and he’s going to be the next Brit that I want to see win a world championship.

“So I really hope that, while we are going to be competing and I want to win on track, I hope I can have a positive influence on how he conducts himself within the team.

“Whether it’s the time he commits to engineering, or how he churns through the data, or even just how he drives on track.”

PLUS: The early signs of greatness that convinced Mercedes to pursue Russell

Despite being open about how he wants to help Russell, Hamilton is under no illusions about how eager his new team-mate will be to come out on top straight away.

Hamilton sees Russell being in a similar situation to what he faced back in 2007, when he was a rookie at McLaren alongside then-reining double champion Fernando Alonso.

“I think you’ve seen George is hugely respectful,” added Hamilton.

Russell will trade his Williams for a Mercedes when he joins Hamilton next year

Russell will trade his Williams for a Mercedes when he joins Hamilton next year

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

“He’s a super-talented young man and I think there’s a huge amount of respect already going in. There’s just a nice balance at the moment.

“He’s going to want to be quick. He’s going to want to show up and win, and do all those things that you do when you enter a new role.

“I remember when I went up against [Fernando] Alonso, of course I wanted to beat him at the first race.

“So I appreciate and expect George to have that mentality, otherwise he’s not a winner, you know? I anticipate he will have that mentality.”

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