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Damon Hill

Hill outlines what Russell will bring to Mercedes

The 1996 Formula 1 World Champion has given some high praise to George Russell following the announcement that the current Williams driver will move to Mercedes next year.

Russell
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Damon Hill believes George Russell will "bring an enormous amount of positive energy" to Mercedes in 2022 when he becomes Lewis Hamilton's new teammate.

On Tuesday, Russell was confirmed as Valtteri Bottas' replacement on a "long-term" deal. Having spent three years with Williams, Russell is seen as one of many young drivers on the current F1 grid who have the potential to be a future star in the sport.

"He's part of the Mercedes family but now he'll be fully ensconced in the hot seat now alongside the most winning driver in history," Hill told Sky Sports.

"He'll bring an enormous amount of positive energy. He's a very enthusiastic, bright-eyed and intelligent young man.

"George has got this bounce and eagerness. He wants to get out there and be part of the team so he's a good team player."

Russell made a one-off appearance for Mercedes at the 2020 Sakhir Grand Prix when Hamilton tested positive for coronavirus.

The 23-year-old missed out on pole position by 0.026 seconds and was on course for victory until a badly-timed Safety Car and a puncture dropped him down the order. Hill reckons Sakhir was an indicator of just how good Russell is.

"It's so important to get yourself in a top team as a young driver early on, so you can show what you can do," said Hill.

"We saw a little bit of that last year when Lewis got COVID-19 and had to pull out of the Bahrain race, and George was stunning.

"That was an indicator but not the only indicator of how very, very good George Russell is, so he's earnt this on merit."

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