George Russell feels that he has been "saved" to an extent by Lewis Hamilton's similar struggles to him at Mercedes.
The Silver Arrows have faced another tough start to the season in 2023, with the team continuing to experience the issues that blighted their car in the previous campaign.
With Russell having joined the squad at the start of 2022, he admits that it is something of a relief that both he and Hamilton have struggled with the W14.
"For me, being teammates with Lewis is such a golden opportunity," Russell told Square Mile.
"Especially now that the car isn't performing as we want, having him as my teammate has saved me in some regard, because if he had retired or left the sport when I joined the team, and we took this step backwards, people would be pointing the blame towards me!"
No extra pressure for Russell
Russell is not concerned about having to prove himself against Hamilton.
"I feel like now I've proven my worth and I’ve proven what I'm capable of, so there's no pressure in that regard," the Briton explained.
"I'm out there to do the best job possible and I think that is a very fortunate position to be in.
"I'm not worried about any statistics or making sure that I'm on Lewis' pace or whatever because I feel like I showed that last year.
"What a position to be in to go up against the greatest ever."
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What Russell has learned from Hamilton
Working alongside Hamilton has also provided Russell with an opportunity to learn from a seven-time World Champion.
When asked about the one key learning he has taken from Hamilton, Russell responded: "I think he's a very good people person.
"He's very good at getting the
most out of the people around him, motivating the team. He's very
resilient, he's always pushing himself further.
"And he has a lot of hobbies as well away from the sport, which I think is really interesting, because it allowed him to take his mind away from the racing and to be in a better head space for when he comes back.
"We're obviously at very different stages of our career, but I'm definitely taking inspiration from how he conducts himself, how he approaches his racing and how he approaches his life. He's very impressive."
Balve Bains is joined by RacingNews365.com Editorial Director Dieter Rencken and Asia Correspondent Michael Butterworth to dissect the key talking points from the last week in F1.