Lewis Hamilton has already made clear George Russell should replace him at Mercedes
F1: Lewis Hamilton goes for a seaside run
Seven-time Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton’s future in the sport is still uncertain, with talks regarding a new deal at Mercedes yet to come to fruition. The Stevenage-born driver is technically a free agent after the expiry of his previous contract, but is widely expected to continue his working relationship with the Silver Arrows.
It has been reported that Mercedes are not worried about the prospect of losing Hamilton this year, but they will be preparing to see their star man depart in the years to come as he approaches the end of his racing career.
Now 36, Hamilton is a fully-fledged veteran and could be set to call time on his Formula One commitments before too long.
His replacement at Mercedes will have huge boots to fill, but there is one man who has already been given the green light by the 95-time race winner.
Williams prospect George Russell multiplied his stock last year with a thoroughly impressive campaign at the British backmarkers.
He beat team-mate Nicholas Latifi in every single qualifying session he completed, even progressing into Q2 on a number of occasions.
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Russell’s form earned him a call-up to Mercedes for the Sahkir Grand Prix, where he impressed in Hamilton’s car with the 36-year-old ruled out after testing positive for coronavirus.
Hamilton revealed back in November that he sees Russell as a future world champion, comparing the 22-year-old to F1 legend Fernando Alonso who made a huge impression at Minardi before winning two consecutive titles with Renault in 2005 and 2006.
“What he’s been able to do similar to if you look at Alonso [at Minardi in 2001] and drivers coming into one of the teams that are further back,” Hamilton told Sky Sports at the Turkish Grand Prix.
“Having an opportunity to grow and improve, and lead a team and make mistakes, all those different things.
“This year he’s just been great, how he’s handles everything and what he’s done with that car to put it into Q2 quite often and really delivering great results. [I’ve been] really impressed with his race craft and how he’s growing.
“He really is the future. There are several drivers that are the future of this sport but he’s one of them and I’m really excited to see his progression.
“I have no doubt that he has the potential to be a future champion.”
Russell confirmed in December that he will remain with Williams for at least one more season, but will undoubtedly be harbouring ambitions of continuing Hamilton’s legacy of success at Mercedes in the near future.
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