George Russell warned not to try and ‘knock spots’ off Lewis Hamilton

Russell has joined Mercedes for the 2022 season

Damon Hill has issued George Russell a warning to not “knock spots” off of new Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton.

Russell has joined the Formula 1 team from Williams for the upcoming season with Hamilton looking to win his eighth world championship. But former driver Hill says while Hamilton will help Russell, the newbie needs to earn his stripes.

“I think it will be great to watch,” Hill told Express Sport. “I’m sure Lewis will be wanting to encourage George. I don’t see it going wrong.

“I think Lewis recognises his timespan is shorter in the sport than George’s, so he will want to play his part in giving him a leg-up – not that he needs one, probably.

“It’s down to George and how he approaches it, I think. You can go into these situations and think ‘right, that’s the enemy over there and I’m out to knock spots off them’.


“That might not be the wisest thing to do with Lewis, I don’t think. That’s something to really look forward to next year. I’ll be as excited as anyone to see what will happen.”

Hamilton missed out on the record world title this season after Max Verstappen claimed his first championship in the final race at Abu Dhabi in December. It is thought the British star will still be Mercedes title-winning driver and so will be put ahead of Russell in terms of race decisions by the team.

However, Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff hasn’t ruled out the possibility of Russell challenging for the title.

He told “Russell has to consolidate the proof he can deliver top performances like in Bahrain 2020 on a regular basis to qualify for a championship.

“That could also happen in the first year and would be a luxury problem that we would then have to solve.”

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