Lewis Hamilton reveals that he will be glad if George Russell joins Mercedes in the 2022 F1 season.
As the 2021 season progresses, rumors about the 2022 grid keep intensifying. According to the latest reports, Russell will go to Mercedes next year, while Valtteri Bottas is likely to get a seat at Alfa Romeo Racing. Ahead of the Dutch GP, Bottas’ current teammate Hamilton has admitted that he will be delighted to see the young compatriot in the team.
“I honestly think it will be good. I think George is an incredibly talented driver, clearly. I would say probably the only highlight from last week [at Spa] was his qualifying lap, it was amazing. I think he’s humble, I think he’s got a great approach, naturally being British I would imagine probably helps, in terms of communication,” Hamilton said.
The reigning 7-time world champion also thinks that Russell is one of the drivers that will shape F1’s future.
“He’s the future. He’s one of the members of the future of the sport. I think he’s already shown incredible driving so far, and I’m sure he’s going to continue to grow, so where better to do it than in a great team like this, or whatever team he goes to?”
Furthermore, Hamilton is confident that the Williams driver will adapt easily at Mercedes thanks to the experience from the 2020 Sakhir GP.
“Naturally… when you start with someone new, it always takes time, even when we have a new engineer or a new mechanic, it takes a moment for them to gel in. But George has already been on the circuit with us, he’s already done a race with the team, he’s already been in the background whilst Valtteri and I have been working in the past. So I think he knows the environment well,” he commented.
At the same time, Hamilton has praised Bottas for being a significant part of his and Mercedes’ success.
“But… my focus right now is, me and Valtteri have a job to do. I’m proud to work alongside Valtteri. I think he’s a decent human being and I think that’s at the core of why I have the respect I think I have for him. And on top of that he’s a fierce competitor. He never gives up, keeps pushing, and he’s helped me deliver these championships with the team. I couldn’t have done it without him.”