Valtteri Bottas issues George Russell verdict with youngster outperforming Lewis Hamilton

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GEORGE RUSSELL has scored more points than Lewis Hamilton so far this season.

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Valtteri Bottas has admitted that George Russell has ticked all the right boxes at Mercedes since replacing the Finn as Lewis Hamilton’s team-mate at the end of last year. Russell has been one of the most consistent drivers on the grid over the course of this season, with the 24-year-old having secured top-five finishes in every race apart from the British Grand Prix earlier this month.

He currently sits fifth in the Drivers’ Championship standings with a healthy advantage over Hamilton, who has not been outpointed by a team-mate since Nico Rosberg clinched the end-of-season honours back in 2016. Bottas never managed to repeat the feat before leaving Mercedes for Alfa Romeo but has since heaped plenty of praise on Russell, who he believes has made the perfect start to life in his new role.

“I think George has done great, as expected,” Bottas told reporters when quizzed on how his replacement at Mercedes has been performing. “Especially as I know myself how tricky it is to beat Lewis, so yeah, he’s been doing a good job.”

Russell will be desperately hoping to keep up the good work at Mercedes in order to stay ahead of Hamilton in the standings between now and the end of the season. The latter has managed to close the gap to 19 points over the last few weeks, though, by securing back-to-back third-placed finishes in Britain and Austria.

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Valtteri Bottas issues George Russell verdict with youngster outperforming Lewis Hamilton

Valtteri Bottas has been impressed with George Russell’s recent showings (Image: GETTY)

There appears to be a good working relationship between the two drivers in spite of their inter-team rivalry, but Russell has already insisted that he knows he will need to beat Hamilton in order to realise his title-winning ambitions over the course of his time with the Silver Arrows.

“The fact is, Lewis and I have a good relationship,” said Russell in an interview with GQ back in March. “They’ll twist my words slightly to blurb a headline, such as me trying to take Lewis’ crown away or whatever.

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Valtteri Bottas issues George Russell verdict with youngster outperforming Lewis Hamilton

Russell has won more points than Lewis Hamilton so far this season (Image: EXPRESS)

“But I don’t feel like that. I’m in F1 because I want to be world champion, that’s obvious. And if I’m going to be world champion, I’ve got to beat everyone, Lewis included.”

Russell’s on-track showings at Mercedes have managed to turn plenty of heads in spite of the team’s prominent issues with bouncing on the straights and their general lack of pace at present. Things can change very quickly in F1, though, and he will be hoping to maintain his current form in order to begin fighting for Grand Prix victories if the Silver Arrows manage to fix their problems in the near future.

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