Hamilton Happy joins Mercedes with “incredibly talented” Russell

Seven-time World Champion Lewis Hamilton praised George Russell on Thursday and said he would be happy to welcome him as his Formula One teammate next season if it was a Mercedes decision. rice field.

The 23-year-old Briton will move from Williams to replace Finland’s Barteribotta and join his compatriot Hamilton in 2022.

Russell, whose career is managed by Mercedes, told reporters in Zandvoort prior to the Dutch Grand Prix that he knew where next year’s race would take place and was informed before the race in Belgium last weekend. Told.

Hamilton’s words left little doubt that Russell nodded.

When asked what his relationship with Russell would be, the champion said, “To be honest, I think it’s a good thing.” “I think George is a very talented driver.

“Probably the only highlight last week was his qualifying lap, which was great,” he added, noting that Russell put Williams in the front row at the Wet Belgian Grand Prix and finished second.

The race at the spa lasted only a few laps behind the safety car.

“He’s humble, I think he has a great approach. Of course, being an Englishman would probably help in terms of communication,” continued Hamilton.

Mercedes drivers said they needed to “super support” Bottas as their current teammate in a pair fighting for the Constructors’ Championship, but Russell represented the future.

“He’s already been driving great so far and I’m sure he’ll continue to grow, so it’s better to do it on such a great team, or where he goes than on which team. Is that okay, “Hamilton said.

George Russell of Williams at the FIA ​​Press Conference in Zandvoort on September 2, 2021 at the Formula One Netherlands Grand Prix in the Netherlands. (Pool via Andrei Isakovich / Reuters)

The Daily Mail reported this week that Hamilton was far from happy with Russell being his teammate, citing “appropriate sources” saying the decision had dropped “like a lead balloon.” bottom.

But an older Briton said Thursday that he felt there was nothing to prove.

“If it turns out that I have another teammate, I’m in another part of my life,” he said. “I’m looking forward to seeing the young people coming.

“I don’t want to lose to young people, but I’m looking forward to seeing the progress of sports … the younger generation has a lot of themselves.

“We will learn from each other. I think it is important that respect is always there and communication is at the core.”

Russell represented Hamilton in Bahrain last season. It was a pity that the young man couldn’t win this race.

“It takes time to start with new people. Even if you have new engineers or new mechanics, it will take some time for them to settle,” Hamilton said.

“George is already on the circuit with us, he is already racing with the team and he is already in the background while Valtteri and I have worked in the past, so he has an environment I think you know it well. “

Alan Baldwin