In 2022, George Russell and Lewis Hamilton will form the Mercedes driver couple. The two British drivers can benefit from each other according to former F1 driver Johnny Herbert, although the current Formula 1 analyst questions whether Russell can handle the additional pressure when the Briton will drive for the German top team.
Johnny Herbert wonders in an exclusive interview with Fpal whether George Russell can handle the pressure in 2022, when the Briton will be driving for Mercedes : “Obviously Russell is a strong F1 driver, he has already let that happen . At Williams and his one-time appearance at Mercedes, it’s quite different to fill in for Lewis Hamilton once, or to be Hamilton’s teammate for an entire season, because it is incredibly difficult to have drivers like Hamilton or Max Verstappen as your teammate. to have,” Herbert remarks when we ask him about his expectation of Russell at Mercedes.
“Of course Russell is a big challenger for Hamilton, because he has been performing incredibly well and consistently for years. However, the question is whether he can now handle the pressure at Mercedes, because at Mercedes he ends up with a team where things are very different. than at Williams. At Williams, George has a much lesser car at his disposal and less is expected of him. At Mercedes, you are expected to perform every session. being reminded that you have to be at the front and that comes with a lot of pressure.”
Herbert believes that this is where Hamilton’s strength lies. “That’s what makes Hamilton so good, he handles the high expectations that the team has of him. Lewis always performs. When you look at Valtteri Bottas, for example, we know that he is also a fast driver, but it is it’s not just about being fast, but above all you have to be very consistent, look for example at Pierre Gasly, he did well at Toro Rosso, ended up at Red Bull where he had a hard time being consistent and so turned back back to AlphaTauri. There he now performs incredibly well every race and is therefore constant”, with which the former F1 driver wants to clarify his arguments about the pressure within a top team.
“So the question is how George or Pierre do at a team like Mercedes, where expectations are much higher. You have to deal with two kinds of pressure, the team expects you to perform, but the second pressure is your teammate. “When you drive against Max and Lewis you will undoubtedly experience days and sessions where you get out of the car with a good feeling, look at the screen and suddenly see that you have been put in six tenths by your teammate. The pressure that those moments “That’s what it’s about, you can deal with that, because that’s definitely not easy. That’s going to be the difficult thing for Russell at Mercedes.”