George Russell will take the seat of Valtteri Bottas at Mercedes next year. Seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton predicts a good relationship between the two next year, he tells the BBC.
After five years of loyal service at Mercedes, Bottas will say goodbye to the German team at the end of the season. The Finn takes the place at Alfa Romeo of Kimi Raikkonnen, who is retiring. Hamilton has been with Mercedes since 2013, but he is far from thinking about stopping.
‘Want to see him succeed’
The new season also brings new challenges. Russell will immediately want to show that he can compete with the seven-time world champion. “Of course he will be fast and he will want to win straight away. It’s a logical step when you get into a new team,” Hamilton said. He will do everything he can to help Russell. Hamilton continues: “Of course I want to see him succeed. At some point I will stop and then I want to see him become the next Brit to win the world championship.”
Apart from racing, Hamilton mainly wants to be an example. “Recently, one of my friends and also a colleague sent a message that I have inspired two thousand people. If I still manage to do that after ten years, then I know I’m in the right place here and I still deserve this place,” said a delighted Hamilton. It is the ultimate confirmation for him: “That gives an extremely good feeling.”