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George Russell

Mercedes will not force Russell to play Hamilton support role

Lewis Hamilton and George Russell will be teammates at Mercedes next season, with the latter stating that he expects to have equal status within the team.

Williams F1 42342 Lo Res
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George Russell fully expects to be given equal status to Lewis Hamilton when he joins the seven-time World Champion at Mercedes in 2022.

The young Briton was confirmed as the team's new driver earlier this week, taking over from Valtteri Bottas, with the Finn making the switch to Alfa Romeo.

Russell is confident that the pair can race each other cleanly and without issues, as he revealed it's been made clear to him that he won't have to play a supporting role to Hamilton.

"[I am] definitely going [in] on level terms, that was made very clear to me," Russell told RacingNews365.com and other members of the media.

"I think Mercedes are always respectful in that regard, to give both drivers the best opportunity.

"Naturally, I believe in myself and I have high aspirations, but equally I know just how tough it's going to be.

"Lewis is a seven-time World Champion for a reason and I think I'm probably in one of the most fortunate positions on the grid, to be able to go out there and learn from him.

"I see this sort of partnership with Mercedes as a long-term thing. I need to use next year as a real opportunity to learn everything I can and take it race-by-race and just see how I get on."

The two may not be teaming up until next season, but Russell revealed he's already spoken to Hamilton regarding the move.

"We spoke earlier this week over text, he said congratulations and he's looking forward to being teammates with me, and seeing how I get on, and I said likewise,” Russell added.

"It's a privilege for me to be lining up alongside him.

"Obviously, all these photos came around on social media of when I was a young boy looking up to Lewis. It's pretty crazy to see how the times have gone and [to] line up alongside him next year."

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