George Russell has been reminiscing on his debut year as Lewis Hamilton’s teammate at Mercedes, and the young British driver has admitted that racing alongside the seven-time World Champion is “not easy.”
Russell had a difficult start to his debut season as the Silver Arrows struggled to match the speed of Red Bull and Ferrari. Russell replaced Valtteri Bottas at Mercedes for 2022 after a three-year stint at Williams.
Despite this, the 24-year-old started to consistently score points and finished the year in fourth place overall in the World Championship with 275 points, while Hamilton came in sixth place overall with 240 points.
At the Brazilian Grand Prix, Russell also won his first Formula One race, helping Mercedes finish 1-2.
Russell acknowledges that the team has had a lot of growth after a challenging start to the season. Hamilton has also pushed Russell to his “limit” throughout the year.
“I feel very fortunate to be in this team, teammates with Lewis, learning a huge amount, being pushed to my limits,” Russell told the F1 Nation podcast after the season-closing Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
“It’s not easy being teammates with somebody as fast and great as he is. But it has been a great year in many regards.
“What we all do, every single person in this paddock, we are so fortunate to travel the world, us driving the fastest cars in the world around the best tracks in the world.
“I’m knackered now, but still, there’s a lot to look back and be happy about.”
Russell believes that the team wants to accomplish much more next season despite being able to see the positives from 2022, most notably his victory in Brazil.
“We’ve got to take the positives away from the season,” he explained.
“The journey we’ve been on as a team has been immense but, by our standards, it’s definitely not enough.
“But there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Everybody’s going to be working immensely hard over the winter, and we’re going to hopefully come out next season [in] Bahrain, fighting and challenging those guys in red and blue.”