Hamilton expects a challenge for Russell as he did for Alonso – but with ‘respect’

After three years with Williams, the 23-year-old will advance to the reigning Constructors’ Championship for the 2022 season and his first chance in a car potentially competing for the title.

The team’s senior driver Hamilton, 36, knows Russell will push him on the track after being the talented contender in the race with two-time champion Alonso at McLaren – but expects a more cordial relationship overall.

“I think you saw that George is extremely respectful,” he told reporters.

“He’s a super talented young man and I think there is a lot of respect already. There’s just a good balance right now.

“He’s going to want to be quick. He’s going to want to show up and win, and do all of those things that you do when you step into a new role.

“I remember when I faced Alonso, of course I wanted to beat him in the first race. So I appreciate and expect George to have that mentality, otherwise he’s not a winner, you know? I predict he will have that mentality.

Hamilton presented Russell as the successor to his F1 throne, having won seven world titles with an eighth record broken with Max Verstappen this season.

“I’m in a different place,” Hamilton insisted. “I really want to see him succeed.

“There’s going to be a time when I won’t continue in this sport. He is my teammate and he will be the next Brit I want to see win a world championship.

“So I really hope that, even though we are going to compete and I want to win on the right track, I hope I can have a positive influence on the way he behaves in the team.

“Whether it’s the time he spends in engineering, or the way he goes through data, or even just how he drives on the right track. “


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