George Russell a ‘different calibre’ of teammate for Lewis Hamilton

The new Mercedes recruit has racked up the points quicker than his more illustrious teammate this season as the team struggles with their new car design

Karl Matchett
Monday 16 May 2022 12:12
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George Russell is already proving his worth with Mercedes after joining the Formula One team this season, giving Lewis Hamilton a more “consistent calibre” of driver to race alongside, claims Ralf Schumacher.

Since replacing Valtteri Bottas, Russell has picked up 59 points in the opening five races of the season to sit fourth in the drivers’ standings - two places and 23 points better off than Hamilton.

It’s an unexpected turn of events, with Russell consistently placing between third and fifth in each race this term, compared to Hamilton’s more erratic third to 13th, as the Mercedes pair struggle to get to grips with the new car and the problems being encountered.

Schumacher says Russell is a higher-class teammate who has plenty to offer, both on and off the track.

“Russell is now a different calibre for Lewis than Bottas was and, above all, he is a consistent calibre,” he told Motorsport.

“He is also someone who picks people up – just like Hamilton too. He makes a likeable and very buddy-like impression in the team.”

So far, Russell’s ability to maximise the car better than his seven-time champion teammate is probable annoying the F1 veteran, Schumacher believes, but that competitive edge could prove vital once Mercedes fix their issues.

“[Russell] kind of outweighs Lewis a little bit in every way. He can just handle it better and that bothers Lewis, I’m pretty sure.

“That’s clear, he’s an egotist after all, as we all were as racing drivers, and I was as well, I admit that. In any case, I must say, it will bother him. One hundred percent!”

“Lewis is still struggling with the car and has been complaining a lot – okay, we know that when he isn’t he’s been quick – but he’s still struggling there. At least it’s going in the right direction.”

Hamilton finished sixth in Miami most recently in a slightly improved showing, though Russell still passed him to claim fifth.

They are next in action back in Europe for the Spanish Grand Prix.

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