George Russell sees no reason for his relationship with Lewis Hamilton to deteriorate in 2023, even if Mercedes F1 were to challenge for world titles.
While the season just ended was complicated for the German team, the two British riders worked hand in hand to help them get back on track. The deficit on Red Bull and Ferrari was almost made up by the end of the season, Russell notably winning his first victory in F1 at Interlagos.
And if by chance Mercedes F1 were to play the leading roles again next season, the 24-year-old driver sees the good relationship with his neighbor in the garage continuing.
« If we fight for doubles, the dynamic within the team will be different and that’s natural, » Russell said.
« But the good thing is we’re not at the same stage in our careers, so we feel like we’re in the same boat. If we get to the first race next year and we have a car capable of signing the double, we will be very proud to think that we have both contributed to helping the team achieve this goal. And then we will continue to do our job as normal. »
« So we have no reason to be in conflict and we have a good relationship. We have to respect each other and I think that was the case in Mexico for example. We know how important it is for any the team. If our relationship starts to break down, it will impact her and affect us as well. I think we can continue to build on this foundation and our relationship will probably grow stronger over time. »
Impossible to beat a driver like Hamilton every weekend
Fourth in the 2022 world championship with 35 points ahead of Hamilton, Russell says to himself « proud » to have beaten the seven-time world champion for his first year at Mercedes F1. But as he had already said in recent weeks, the most important thing for him is above all to have kept pace with his illustrious teammate throughout the season.
« Of course I’m happy, to a certain extent, with my personal performances. It’s no secret that Lewis had a bit of a tough time at the start of the season, which gave me the opportunity to pick up some points. extra time. But we’ve been really close and that’s a good thing for me. »
« We are racing drivers, so we want to be the fastest every time we hit the track. And being even is also something that is difficult to accept, because we all believe in ourselves and that we can to be the best. But when you have someone like Lewis by your side, who is playing at such a high level every weekend, you can never be the fastest on your team in every race. »
« The number of points I scored this year would have been enough to finish third in the championship last year. And considering that was with a car that was more than a second off the pace at times. , I’m very proud of that. »