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George Russell, Mercedes F1 W14
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Formula 1 Bahrain February Testing
Analysis

What we can expect from F1's most evenly-matched team-mates in 2023

It’s the most exciting driver line-up in Formula 1: a seven-time world champion alongside his appointed heir – albeit one who can’t wait to get the succession done and dusted. GP RACING analyses how close it really was between Lewis Hamilton and George Russell at Mercedes in 2022, and what Russell needs to do to get closer to – or even surpass – his illustrious team-mate

The closest team-mate contest in Formula 1 last year was at Mercedes, between a seven-time champion and a man who at the start of the season had not won a race.  George Russell, the new boy, came out on top in the championship by two places and 25 points. So did Russell ‘beat’ Lewis Hamilton last year? Did the points table accurately reflect the balance of power at Mercedes? And what do the answers reveal about how their contest may develop into the new season?

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff describes last year’s championship statistic as “irrelevant” in the context of a difficult year in which the team battled its worst car for a decade, with neither driver in title contention. It’s the answer you would expect from a man managing two of the biggest stars in F1 in one team. Nevertheless, Wolff has a point.

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