George Russell backed to run Lewis Hamilton close as Brit told he can be world champion

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GEORGE RUSSELL could battle to beat seven-time champion team-mate Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes in 2022, however might come shut.

What’s gone fallacious with Mercedes and might they recuperate?

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Mercedes rookie Russell presently lies second within the drivers’ standings, main Hamilton by 9 factors after the primary three races after a string of constant finishes regardless of a scarcity of efficiency. His podium final outing in Australia was his third top-five end of the season because the Silver Arrows proceed to capitalise on retirements from Crimson Bull and Ferrari.

Hamilton tied on factors together with his world champion team-mate Fernando Alonso throughout his first F1 season in 2007. Russell is properly positioned to match the success of his fellow Briton after a robust begin however has been warned Hamilton might nonetheless mount a cost to get himself forward.

Ex-British driver turned race steward Derek Warwick instructed Categorical Sport: “I believe George Russell is without doubt one of the biggest younger drivers coming by way of. However whenever you’re in opposition to the grasp I believe George will probably be pleased to observe Lewis, to study from Lewis and change into a greater driver.

“It is going to be troublesome to think about that he might put a world championship collectively in his first 12 months however you actually do not know. He’s of the standard to be a world champion, whether or not it is this 12 months or subsequent 12 months.”

READ MORE: George Russell backed to carry Mercedes ‘upwards’

George Russell backed to run Lewis Hamilton close as Brit told he can be world champion

Lewis Hamilton is tipped to beat Russell over the season (Picture: Getty)

Nonetheless, Warwick claims Russell is not going to be caught out by crew orders and can get a good battle in opposition to Hamilton this season. The German producer has been reluctant to intervene in a scrap between their drivers up to now with Nico Rosberg and Hamilton coming to blows within the 2016 title battle.

He added: “Mercedes is not going to begin backing both driver till there’s a huge hole between them. If there is a huge hole between them and someone has numerous mechanical points then it may very well be they are going to observe that driver whether or not it is Lewis or whether or not it is George.

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George Russell backed to run Lewis Hamilton close as Brit told he can be world champion

Russell leads Hamilton within the standings after three races (Picture: Getty)

“If George has acquired 50 factors [advantage] going into the final three races and an opportunity of being world champion, Mercedes could have no possibility however to place numerous concentrate on George.”

Nonetheless, final 12 months Mercedes’ crew principal Toto Wolff has hinted he wouldn’t let an intra-team rivalry get uncontrolled once more.  The Austrian even hinted he would not flinch in throwing drivers out of the automobile if a scenario acquired uncontrolled once more.

He mentioned: “I all the time made clear that if this was going to occur often and I’d see a sample, I’ve no concern in making someone miss races.”

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