Dutch Grand Prix: Lewis Hamilton calls George Russell 'an incredibly talented driver'

Number 63 George Russell raced for Mercedes in Lewis Hamilton’s absence at Sakhir Grand Prix in December. He was a long-time leader in the race, before a Mercedes pit stop error cost him the possibility of winning.
Lewis Hamilton is open to the idea that George Russell could be his team-mate if the rising star from Britain moves to Mercedes next season.

Russell is expected replace Valtteri bottas at world champions. The Finn is expected to switch to Alfa Romeo. Both moves are not confirmed.

Hamilton described Russell as "an incredibly talented driver" who is "one of our future stars", Hamilton added.

Hamilton said that he believed their relationship would be "quite positive".

The seven-time champion was in conflict with Fernando Alonso at McLaren 2007 and Nico Rosberg at Mercedes 2013-16.

Hamilton claimed that Mercedes was better equipped to handle rivalries between team-mates now than when Rosberg was here.

Hamilton stated, "We have learned a lot about how we approach things." Hamilton said that there were many mistakes made along the way. This is not a problem.

It takes time to get used to someone new. George is already on the circuit with us.

Before he joined Williams in 2019, Russell was Mercedes' reserve driver. He drove for the team as an emergency stand-in after Hamilton contracted Covid.

Hamilton was highly complimentary of Russell's F1 performances and singled out Russell's qualifying at the Belgian Grand Prix last weekend, where he placed his Williams second in the wet grid ahead of the world champion.

Hamilton stated that Hamilton's qualifying lap was the highlight of last week. It was "amazing". He is humble. He is humble. Britishness is a plus in communication, I'd imagine.

"At the moment I must be extremely supportive of the team mate that I have right now. Because we both have a job right now, that's why Valtteri is always my support. We can't win the team championship by ourselves. It is necessary that we all work together.

George has shown amazing driving skills and I know he will continue to improve. It's a better place to do it than with a great team such as this or any other team.

Max Verstappen, Red Bull's Max Verstappen, said that he believed Russell would be a difficult challenge for Hamilton if Hamilton joined Mercedes.

Verstappen stated that if he joined, it was certain that he would make Lewis's life very difficult. "He was in the car in Bahrain, and by lap one was making it difficult for Valtteri. You become faster the more you spend time with your car and your team.

Hamilton stated that he didn't have anything to prove. As a team-mate, I've raced against some amazing drivers. Fernando was my rookie year.

"If it turns out that I do have a new teammate, I'm at a different point in my life. It's exciting to see the young people succeed.

"It's not like I want to lose a youngster, obviously, but it is exciting to see the sport grow." "I am a big fan of the sport."

Russell said on Thursday that he knows exactly where he'll be driving next year.

He said, "I'm no going to lie here and not tell the truth," at the Dutch Grand Prix.

"The truth is that there's not much to announce. "But I know the situation regarding where I will be racing next year, and was informed shortly before Spa [last weekend’s Belgian GP].

Hamilton braced himself for booing

Hamilton is three points ahead Verstappen heading into the Dutch Grand Prix this weekend.

The historic Zandvoort circuit will be returning to F1 for the first time in 1985. It is expected to be crowded with passionate Dutch fans, most of them supporting Verstappen.

Hamilton stated that he was expecting to be booed over the weekend.

He said, "It's naturally what you possibly expect." "I've never been one to go to an event with boo, but it is something I can understand.

It is evident in football. It's their passion or dislike for the opposition. It is something I respect.

"I love Holland. Amsterdam is one the most beautiful cities in the world. There are a few Team LH supporters in the Netherlands, but it is a small number. They are strong and able to endure the criticisms.

"I try to use the energy they send towards me as a positive and turn it into driving.

Verstappen stated that he sees it as this: "When you go to a soccer match, the opposition will be cheered on. It is not up to the local team to shout: "Guys, it's impossible to boo," because it will happen. They support the local team because they are passionate.

"It's not up to you to say: 'Guys. You cannot boo.' I don't think they will listen. "I just wish they had a great weekend."

Vettel backs environmental protest

Extinction Rebellion, an environmental group, is planning to protest the race on Sunday.

F1 announced plans to become net-zero carbon in 2030. Hamilton stated: "It's amazing that F1 are acknowledging and holding themselves accountable and detailing the changes they need to make moving forward."

Sebastian Vettel, a four-time champion, said that it was important to increase attention. That's why they are doing it and that is good. F1 has many things in the works. Is it enough? But it is not enough. Are we enough as a species? No.

"It is crucial that we understand the stakes and that we have a vision for the future.

It sounds very dark. F1 has a place, provided it does the right things and makes the right moves. It is a good start, but not much beyond that.