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Russell still needs to 'prove himself' at Mercedes

Former F1 driver and 1996 World Champion Damon Hill believes George Russell still needs to prove himself against Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes.

George Russell must still "prove himself" at Mercedes, according to former Formula 1 driver and 1996 World Champion Damon Hill. Mercedes have endured a tough start to their 2023 campaign, with the W14 not providing them with the results on track that they were expecting. Although Russell managed to win the team's only race with the troubled W13 in Brazil last year, Hill believes the Briton still needs to justify himself being a "valuable asset" to the squad. "George has to work very hard. He has to make himself a valued asset of the team and he's obviously doing that really well," said Hill on the F1 Nation podcast. "But at the same time, he's the one that has to do all the hard work. I think Lewis [Hamilton] doesn't have to [because] they know what they've got with Lewis. "Mercedes know that given half a sniff of a chance, Lewis is going to be back on on top form and can deliver those extraordinary races. They know that George can do that too. But he has yet to prove all that."

Hill: Hamilton has always taken relaxed approach

Hamilton has previously detailed his own sacrifices he had to make while struggling to understand where Mercedes' performance was lacking. Hill thinks that Hamilton takes a more relaxed approach to the season before letting things unfold, which enables him to capitalise on opportunities. "Lewis will have sussed this out and then he'll be sitting there thinking, 'I'll let you do all the hard work, George, because it's exhausting doing all this apart from anything else,'" Hill commented. "He's [Russell] also the director of the GPDA [Grand Prix Drivers' Association], so he's got a big workload and he's taken on quite a lot. "But I think with Lewis, his strategy has always been to remove as many distractions as possible and leave time for downtime and clarity and stuff like that."

RESULTS 2024 F1 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix - Qualifying