George Russell to team up with Hamilton as he seeks revenge

George Russell has been confirmed as Mercedes’ replacement for Valteri Bottas, meaning he will be Lewis Hamilton’s partner for the 2022 Formula 1 season. Russell has driven for Mercedes before when he filled in for Hamilton at the 2020 Sakhir Grand Prix, but he’ll be delighted to be racing alongside the British Formula 1 legend. Since his F1 debut in 2019, Russell has only recorded one podium finish, although many observers agree that he’s a talented driver who should thrive in a better car.

With the conclusion of the 2021 championship still fresh in the mind, Formula 1 fans are growing enthusiastic about next season which is sure to be even more competitive and exciting. Despite 2021’s dramatic finale, Oddschecker, whose free bets can be used to pick the 2022 Driver’s Championship winner, have Hamilton as the favorite with Verstappen a close second. They have George Russell as 3rd favorite, which is a testament to his rising profile, as well as the strength of reigning Constructors champions Mercedes’ incredible car.

While Russell’s introduction to the Mercedes team means he’ll have higher expectations than at Williams, his role will be to support Hamilton wherever he can and help the German manufacturers retain the Constructor’s Championship they won in 2021. His only previous race in a Mercedes car, at Sakhir, earned him recognition from the media and his peers when he recorded the fastest lap of the day, only missing out on a podium place due to technical faults and an error from the pit mechanics. Mercedes boss Toto Wolff will be hoping Russell’s performance on that day was no fluke given the high stakes. Though one imagines he’ll be confident in his judgment, as he knows the young Englishman extremely well. As well as standing in for Hamilton in 2020, Russell has tested for Mercedes on and off since 2017 and did so again in the post-season Pirelli tires test in Abu Dhabi.

Hamilton looked set to win his 8th Drivers’ Championship, which would have made him the most successful driver in history, but instead, he had to settle for second place after a safety car incident gave Max Verstappen the chance to overtake him to win his very first championship. The 24-year-old Dutchman was a worthy winner, however, the manner of Hamilton’s defeat will make him eager to get back on the track and regain the championship. He’ll be hoping that Russell can provide the support that Bottas couldn’t in Abu Dhabi where he finished in 6th, too far back to aid Hamilton’s attempts to hold off Verstappen.



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