Russell recalls meeting "superhero" Hamilton for the first time

George Russell has recalled his first meeting with Lewis Hamilton as "like meeting a superhero" ahead of their partnership as Formula 1 team-mates next year at Mercedes.

Russell recalls meeting "superhero" Hamilton for the first time

Mercedes announced on Tuesday that Russell would be joining the team for the 2021 season, replacing Alfa Romeo-bound Valtteri Bottas as a team-mate for seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton.

Russell has been a member of Mercedes' junior programme since 2017, and has impressed during his time at Williams in F1 over the past three seasons.

PLUS: How Russell left Mercedes with little real choice over his F1 promotion

The announcement led to pictures emerging on social media of a Russell as an 11-year-old meeting Hamilton, who was then racing for McLaren.

 

In one of the pictures, Russell can be seen waiting to meet Hamilton and get his autograph at a karting event in 2009. Twelve years later, they would be preparing to be F1 team-mates.

Asked by Autosport about his first meeting with Hamilton and the picture, Russell recalled how awestruck he was to meet a world champion driver, helping to strengthen his desire to race in F1 one day.

"Lewis turned up to PFI [kart track], I think it was at the Formula Kart Stars, I was racing in Comer Cadet at the time," Russell recalled.

"It was like meeting a superhero, when you are a child of that age, especially a racing driver and you meet a Formula 1 driver, you don't think these people are human. That was a really special moment for me.

"To be honest, I even remember it now, which, it's quite odd to remember a memory back from when you were 11 years old.

"So in a way, it feels pretty surreal to be lining up alongside him next year.

"I guess when I did meet him, that was when I thought I want to be like him, I want to be a Formula 1 driver, and I want to win world championships."

George Russell, Williams FW43B, Sir Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes W12, and Daniel Ricciardo, McLaren MCL35M

George Russell, Williams FW43B, Sir Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes W12, and Daniel Ricciardo, McLaren MCL35M

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

Hamilton felt confident that Russell would be able to bring some fresh energy to Mercedes, being "part of that younger group" of F1 drivers.

PLUS: The challenge Russell will pose to Hamilton’s Mercedes legacy

"I think the young talent that's coming through is so great for the sport and is the future of the sport," Hamilton said.

"New, fresh blood in our team is going to be great, obviously because I'm the oldie there.

"I think that definitely will energise the whole team knowing they have a new youngster coming through, who's super hungry, driven, and will be pushing the team forward."

shares
comments

Related video

F1 considering standalone sprint race plan for 2022
Previous article

F1 considering standalone sprint race plan for 2022

Next article

How to become a CNC Machinist in F1 - Qualifications, skills & more

How to become a CNC Machinist in F1 - Qualifications, skills & more
The Moss-Ferrari farce that current F1 drivers are thankfully spared Plus

The Moss-Ferrari farce that current F1 drivers are thankfully spared

Recent moves within the driver market have reminded MAURICE HAMILTON of a time when contracts weren’t worth the paper they weren’t written on…

Audi’s innovative first assault on grand prix racing Plus

Audi’s innovative first assault on grand prix racing

It has been a long time coming but Audi’s arrival in Formula 1 is finally on the horizon for 2026. But it won’t be its first foray into grand prix racing, as the German manufacturer giant has a history both long and enthralling

Formula 1
Sep 23, 2022
The seven factors powering Verstappen's 2022 F1 domination Plus

The seven factors powering Verstappen's 2022 F1 domination

After a tooth and nail and, at times, toxic Formula 1 world championship scrap last year, Max Verstappen's march to a second consecutive title has been the exact opposite. But has he really changed in 2022? Here's a dive into what factors have played a crucial role, both inside the Verstappen camp and elsewhere, in the Dutch driver's domination

Formula 1
Sep 23, 2022
Why Hamilton is still the man to keep driving Mercedes forward Plus

Why Hamilton is still the man to keep driving Mercedes forward

Lewis Hamilton’s words in a recent Vanity Fair interview define both his world-view and his approach to this season: one of perpetual struggle against adversity. As GP RACING explains, that’s what Lewis feeds off – and why, far from being down and nearly out, he’s using his unique skillset to spearhead Mercedes’ revival…

Formula 1
Sep 22, 2022
The time lag of ideas that offers intrigue over F1's future fight Plus

The time lag of ideas that offers intrigue over F1's future fight

The pecking order in 2022's Formula 1 season may look pretty static as the season draws to a close, but the unique nature of the cost cap means that preparation for next season takes precedence. New developments are being pushed back to 2023 - which could mask the technical development war ongoing...

Formula 1
Sep 22, 2022
How one retro event could prove an alluring prospect for Formula 1 stars Plus

How one retro event could prove an alluring prospect for Formula 1 stars

While Formula 1 drivers taking part in retro events can prove costly, as Charles Leclerc discovered at the Monaco Historic Grand Prix, the Goodwood Revival could prove an interesting experiment for today's stars. As the event's own Tourist Trophy race proves it means serious business, a race for current F1 drivers feels as though it’s in line with where the event is currently at

Goodwood Revival
Sep 21, 2022
The surprise biggest indicator of Ferrari's 2022 F1 points downfall Plus

The surprise biggest indicator of Ferrari's 2022 F1 points downfall

Looking back to the early races of 2022 and Ferrari’s challenge to Red Bull and Max Verstappen was going better than many expected. But it has lost so much ground a surprise rival can even pip Charles Leclerc to runner-up in the standings if given the chance

Formula 1
Sep 20, 2022
How Tyrrell and Stewart forged parallel paths to F1 stardom Plus

How Tyrrell and Stewart forged parallel paths to F1 stardom

The young Ken Tyrrell was barely 
aware of motor racing – until a trip with 
his village football team to the British
 Grand Prix set him on the road to
 becoming a Formula 1 constructor. MAURICE HAMILTON details the humble beginning of Tyrrell and how Ken linked up with Jackie Stewart…

Formula 1
Sep 19, 2022