Hamilton: Russell has all the qualities to be the leader of Mercedes

Lewis Hamilton opened up about George Russell’s successes in his first half-season with Mercedes and what the future may hold.

Russell was brought in as Hamilton’s teammate for this year in place of Valtteri Bottas, and despite Mercedes having a less competitive car than in previous seasons, he fully justified the decision.

Consistency is a trademark for the 24-year-old, who has finished in the top five in ten of the first 11 races: with one retirement at his ‘home’ British Grand Prix when he collided with Guanyu Zhou at Turn 1.

Although Hamilton leads the podium: 4:3, and all seven victory podiums are third places, Russell still has a 19-point lead over his teammate in the drivers’ standings.

There was speculation before the start of the season about how well the two compatriots would work together, but Hamilton’s comments about Russell suggest there is no problem on that front.

“I won’t say it was difficult (being Russell’s teammate). It was pleasant, we worked incredibly well together,” said the seven-time world champion.

“George was super positive, he had a positive impact on the work environment. Overall he was a real pleasure to work with and great to see him succeed. He did a great job, scored great points for the team and will continue to improve for a long time.”

“I definitely see that he has so much potential in him (to be world champion) and that he is in the right place to do it,” he added.

“I really think that … regardless of whether I’m here, he has all the qualities to help this team progress in the future and lead them to success. Therefore, I think it was the right choice for the team. I hope I can help it progress,” concluded Hamilton.