George Russell says it would be a “really exciting” prospect to have Lewis Hamilton as a Mercedes team-mate for a few more years.
That, of course, depends on Hamilton agreeing to extend his contract with the team – and Russell doing nothing to jeopardize his own position.
But if the British duo drives like they did in 2022 and Mercedes provides them with a faster car than the W13, they can hope for their share of success.
Hamilton should commit to a few more years with the Silver Arrows in sign a new contract during the winterPotentially taking him into his 40s – by which time he hopes to have that record eighth Drivers’ title in the bag.
“It’s really exciting to have this potential for Lewis for many years to come,” Russell said.
“I think he’s proven that he definitely hasn’t taken his foot off the accelerator pedal and he’s definitely, [in] the last few races, probably performing better than ever.
“And it’s really exciting for me to have the opportunity to be his teammate, to go directly one-on-one with him and to grow on this journey that we’re on together because it really feels like a journey that we are both on with the rest of the team, to try to get Mercedes back on the path to victory.
“So I think we have a very good relationship, a transparent relationship, and [it would] be great to be teammates for a number of years to come.
What future for Mercedes drivers?
When it comes to the drivers, you feel that among the top teams, Mercedes are always the most sure of who they want in their line-up.
Since joining the team in 2013, that has always included Hamilton, of course. As by far the most successful individual in the sport over the past decade, his position has obviously never been in jeopardy.
Toto Wolff was thrown a curve ball when Nico Rosberg abruptly retired as world champion in 2016, but the decision to hire Valtteri Bottas as his replacement was fully justified as the Finn has won 10 Grand Prix, has backed up Hamilton capably and left the team with a 100% Constructors’ Championship winning record.
At the end of 2021 however, it was time to say thank you and goodbye to Bottas as Russell was ready to take his place – he proved that this season with an extremely consistent set of results, finishing 17 of 20 races so far. now. between second and fifth position.
They remain 15 points ahead of Hamilton, who was arguably the stronger of the duo in the second half of the campaign after managing to extract more from the troublesome W13 than before.
What Russell did, at the very least, was buy some time. Even if Hamilton takes the upper hand in the intra-squad battle in 2023, the young Briton has more than enough credit in the bank to suggest he is a big part of Mercedes’ future.
Russell – like Hamilton, of course – could very well be world champion in the right car, even if he has yet to win a race.
The big question is what will Wolff do when Hamilton finally calls it a day?
It may still take a few years, leaving plenty of time for the choice to be made.
Based on past evidence however, it is a decision that mercedes the boss will be right.
Read more: “The only person who can seriously challenge Max Verstappen is Lewis Hamilton”
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