George Russell's arrival at Mercedes in 2022 could make the challenge of facing the new season even harder for Lewis Hamilton, according to Sky Sports F1 pundit Ted Kravitz.
Hamilton has maintained radio silence since the controversial events of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, where he lost out on the World Championship to Max Verstappen in the much-discussed final laps of the race.
The FIA have confirmed that they will hold an investigation into what happened, with the outcome set to be shared at the beginning of the Bahrain Grand Prix race weekend in March.
Given that this is an ongoing issue, Kravitz thinks that the combination of moving on from Abu Dhabi, along with having Russell as a new teammate, will pose quite a challenge for Hamilton.
"That's the other thing Hamilton has to deal with," Kravitz explained on a special edition of The F1 Show.
"He has to get over the pain of Abu Dhabi, and he needs to be reassured by the FIA that everything is going to be fair.
"And then he needs to deal with a hotshot new teammate, and deal with Max Verstappen, who's going to be high on confidence of course.
"It's such a big job for Hamilton."
Russell "has to be going for the championship"
After three years with the Williams team, Russell makes the step up to Mercedes in 2022 and Kravitz is fully expecting him to aim for the top.
"Russell has to be going for the championship, doesn't he?" the reporter said. "If you're in a Mercedes, you have to be going for the World Championship."
Fellow pundit Anthony Davidson believes that Russell is "super keen" and will relish the opportunity to go up against seven-time World Champion Hamilton.
"It's great to see. He's so full of energy and this is his big moment, isn't it?" Davidson added.
"His chance to step into, hopefully for his sake, a car that can run right at the sharp end and with Lewis Hamilton as your yard stick, the best in the business to measure yourself against.
"There's nothing more that a driver like George wants than to go head-to-head with Lewis with the same equipment, and this is the time you can really see if you're good enough."
Davidson expects Russell and Hamilton to "be racing hard, of course", whilst fellow former F1 driver Karun Chandhok believes that the partnership will be the "most exciting thing going into this season".
"Is George going to be surprised by how good Lewis is? Or is it going to be the other way around?" Chandhok said.
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