Jenson Button warns George Russell ahead of Lewis Hamilton Mercedes partnership

George Russell has been warned against going into his first season with Mercedes all guns blazing in a bid to outshine Lewis Hamilton.

The young Briton joins the team after three impressive years with Williams, where he more than played his part in the team's improvement to a position where they were regularly in with a chance of scoring points throughout the 2021 campaign.

Russell managed 16 points himself, a much improved tally compared to the three he earned in 2020.

The highlight came at Spa, where his incredible performance in qualifying earned him a second-placed start, which is the result he earned after the race was waved off after just two laps behind a safety car due to the treacherous weather conditions.

He will look to add to that maiden F1 podium with more of the same in 2022, after he was selected by Mercedes to replace Valtteri Bottas as the team looks to the future.

Red Bull have Max Verstappen, Ferrari can call upon Charles Leclerc and McLaren have been blooding Lando Norris – now the Silver Arrows have tied down their own wonderkid for the years to come.

Russell himself has insisted he will be respectful and that the team's benefit comes before his own ambitions, but he has made little attempt to hide his desire to win races and world titles.

That has sparked speculation that he might end up forming a frosty relationship with new team-mate Hamilton, who has rarely got along with title-challenging team-mates in the past.

Hamilton has regularly referred to Bottas as the best team-mate he has had at Mercedes, but a big part of that is likely to be down to the fact the Finn was never able to mount a serious title challenge in his five years with the team.

But things were less amicable at times between him and Nico Rosberg, who beat him to the 2016 title before retiring from the sport just a few days later.

And there was little love lost between Hamilton and Fernando Alonso, after the Briton joined McLaren as a rookie in 2007 and upset the reigning world champion by going toe-to-toe with him in a title battle they eventually both lost to Kimi Raikkonen.

To avoid another sour relationship between drivers at Mercedes, Jenson Button – another of Hamilton's former team-mates – has advised Russell not to go into his first year with the team with the intention of going all-out to beat the seven-time world champion.

"He's got to not put pressure on himself," Button told Sky Sports F1. "He can't think: 'I'm going to get in the car and be quicker than Lewis on day one.'

"He's got to build up to it, otherwise he's going to shoot himself in the foot. You can't be too confident alongside Lewis."

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