Russell :Hamilton’s departure could bring the ignition of a new spark in Mercedes

George Russell believes that the imminent departure of his teammate Lewis Hamilton from Mercedes at the end of 2024 could serve to ignite a new spark within the team .

Hamilton shocked the motorsport world before the 2024 season got underway by activating the break clause in his Mercedes contract to sign for Ferrari.

With six drivers’ titles to his credit and 82 since his arrival from McLaren in 2013, the Briton’s departure will bring to an end the most successful era the sport has seen.

However, Hamilton has not added a single win to his record since the 2021 Saudi Grand Prix due to Mercedes’ failure to get the concept car under current ground effect regulations.

But Russell looked at the positives that could come from his team-mate’s move to Ferrari, saying the change could inspire a revitalized working environment.

“My job is to beat my teammate and get the most out of the car,” -Russell

“This is a new start for the team, so many people here share the success with Lewis, but change often ignites a new spark for everyone,” he noted.

“That seems to be the case for Lewis, and that’s what sets it off for us here next year. You have to adapt and evolve, and we are in that process of building from the ground up.”

“It’s good that Lewis is leaving us now – rather [for] 2021, when the whole team was having a hard time,” he assures.

Mercedes has maintained optimism that the redesigned W15 will eradicate the bad characteristics of its predecessor this season and enable a return to the top.

However, Mercedes has been struggling with balance problems since the start of the season, and has not won a single podium in that period, which is devastating for them.

But Russell reiterated that the team understands where it went wrong with its current car and is optimistic that recent progress will soon translate into results.

“When you look at the data and connect it to how you feel, you understand why last year wasn’t good, and it wasn’t the year before,” he explains.

“Everything was behind, and now everything is forward. The problem is that the changes we made were too big.”

“It was in the right direction, but we continued and overdid it. It shows that there is always a trade-off.”

“We’ve got a great team and other great people joining us, we’ve got James [Allison, technical director] back at the helm, and he’s not letting anything slide.”

“There’s clear leadership and I’m a pretty rational person, [and] morale drops when you realize it’s going to be a tough season.”