George Russell makes Lewis Hamilton admission ahead of Singapore GP

Mercedes: What’s gone wrong at the F1 and can they recover?

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George Russell has claimed working alongside Lewis Hamilton since the start of the season has improved his driving ability. Russell heaped praise on the seven-time champion who he described as a “very strong” driver.

Russell said: “Firstly, I feel so fortunate being team-mates with Lewis because it has given me such an opportunity to see his strengths and where I can learn from him and he is definitely very strong in certain areas.

“He is always very strong in low-speed corners and under braking, he has always been very strong and it has been interesting to see his approach to certain issues and how he goes about it. There is no doubt that I have probably widened that envelope of my driving skills by being his team-mate.

“There is not really a way to measure whether you are a better driver or not, there are so many factors that go into it.” The 24-year-old has starred since making the move from Williams last season.

Russell has even bettered Hamilton’s own performances despite this being his debut year at a top team. The Mercedes youngster picked up seven podiums to Hamilton’s six over the first 16 races and enjoyed amazing consistency all season to lead Hamilton by 35 points.

However, Russell has repeatedly suggested he doesn’t care if he beats his champion team-mate at the end of the season. Instead, he warns the pair were trying to turn things around after a difficult year for Mercedes.

Russell has finished inside the top-five at every Grand Prix in which he has reached the chequered flag and now lies just 16 points behind Charles Leclerc’s runner-up spot, a target Mercedes has eyed for the rest of the campaign.

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If he achieves this, Russell could be only the second driver in F1 history to finish P2 in the championship having never won a race. Hamilton has only finished behind a team-mate over the course of a season twice in his career.

Earlier this summer, former team-mate Nico Rosberg, who beat Hamilton in 2016, claimed the Briton would be frustrated that he was losing out to Russell. He said: “That driver pairing is so strong, incredible, but, make no mistake, Lewis hates passionately to ever come second to a team-mate, so he will be ultra-motivated and pushing hard internally.”

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