Lewis Hamilton has described a "seamless" adaptation to Mercedes for George Russell, with the pair working together as full teammates for the first time at the 2022 pre-season tests in Barcelona and Bahrain.
Russell has long been backed by Mercedes and spent his first three F1 seasons at customer team Williams, where he built up a reputation for his impressive qualifying displays.
He also made a stand-in appearance for the Silver Arrows at the 2020 Sakhir Grand Prix, replacing the unwell Hamilton and pushing Valtteri Bottas hard for pole position and the victory, until misfortune struck in the race.
Hamilton/Russell relationship "working really well"
Having been shadowed by the youngster at Grands Prix in the past, Hamilton got his first taste of working directly with Russell during the recent pre-season tests.
Hamilton explained that, given Russell's understanding of the Mercedes environment, and familiarity with many employees, the process of adapting has been extremely smooth so far.
"He's gelled very easily into the team," Hamilton told media, including RacingNews365.com, when asked about working with Russell at the two pre-season tests.
"We worked together previously in the engineering room for plenty of races in the past, where he just sat behind me and kind of watched everything I did, and the same with Valtteri.
"He knew everyone, so it's been seamless. We're working together, communicating a lot in terms of set-up direction, so it's working really well."
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Russell "incredibly talented" and "very, very focused"
Hamilton also praised Russell's "genuine" and "team player" approach, as Mercedes work through some initial issues with their W13.
"I think George is naturally incredibly talented and very, very focused," Hamilton added.
"So far it seems very genuine and he's just focused on being the best team player he can be. That's so far what I see.
"It's pleasant for everyone in the team. It seems very seamless and everyone's just working, keeping their heads down and working collectively as a team and as a unit."
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