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George Russell

Russell: No reason why I would fall out with Hamilton

Mercedes will have George Russell drive alongside Lewis Hamilton in 2022 after the young Briton's move to the team was recently made official. Although Hamilton has had issues with teammates in the past, Russell doesn't think that will repeat itself next year.

George Russell testing Bahrain2
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To news overview © Williams Racing

George Russell has predicted a hard but respectful fight with Lewis Hamilton next season after his move to Mercedes was confirmed by the team earlier this week.

The young Briton will take over from Valtteri Bottas, who is making the move to Alfa Romeo after spending the last five seasons with the Silver Arrows.

When asked whether he can avoid polemics with Hamilton next season, while still competing with the seven-time World Champion, Russell doesn't expect the two to have a falling out.

"Throughout my junior career there were a number of drivers who I was very close with on pace, and very often very close with on track," Russell told RacingNews365.com and other members of the media.

"There's no reason why there would be any falling outs or anything. I'm sure we're gonna race each other respectfully, but hard as well at the same time, as Lewis and Valtteri have over the past five years.

"I think Lewis and I have got a really great relationship. We're at different stages of our careers and we've got one goal next year, which is to develop the car and push it forward and make sure that we as two drivers give ourselves the best chance of having the fastest race car.

"The only way we're going to do that is by working together."

Hamilton has faced difficult relationships with teammates in the past, most recently with Nico Rosberg while at Mercedes.

However, with the team having made it clear they don't want a repeat of that dynamic, Russell underlined that he is also keen to avoid issues.

"I think Mercedes have had a clear experience of a sort of poor dynamic within the team," Russell added. "They've made it absolutely clear that they don't want to repeat [that].

"I think on a personal level I don't want that either. I think it's so important as teammates to work together to push the team, and next year it's a new car, new regulations, so there's no guarantees who is going to have the fastest car.

"I guess it's our job as drivers to push that forward. Lewis and I are at very different stages of our career, which I think also helps, and I have a huge amount of respect for him.

"I think just being so much younger, and looking up to him as a young karting driver changes that dynamic a lot too. So I don't see there being any issue."

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