Bold Predictions for the Much Awaited Hamilton-Russell Mercedes F1 Pairing in 2022

Published 09/07/2021, 5:34 AM EDT
Formula One F1 – Belgian Grand Prix – Spa-Francorchamps, Spa, Belgium – August 28, 2021 Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton and Williams’ George Russell celebrate after finishing third and second in qualifying Pool via REUTERS/John Thys


Mercedes have managed to bring two of the most talented F1 drivers together as teammates; the ever-dominant 7-time world champion, Lewis Hamilton, and the monarch of qualifying, George Russell.

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There is no denying that the entire world has been yearning for this particular moment since 2020, when Russell almost clinched his first F1 victory on his very first race as a Mercedes driver.

The Briton clearly showed what he could do with a competitive top-class Mercedes car. Hence, Sakhir 2020 was certainly one of the many reasons that Brackley outfit was impressed, who, soon after that, began to evaluate the Bottas-Russell swap.

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Well, the swap has come to fruition. And now, the focus shifts onto what the future is holding for the British duo.

George Russell vs Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes

For years now, Russell has been lauded as a future world champion. However, with Hamilton showing no signs of slowing down despite his age, one might fear that this could trigger an on-track duel between the two in 2022.

Well, the chances of a rivalry brewing out of the duo are very minimal. Why? You might ask. Well, the answer is Nico Rosberg!

Mercedes have learned enough from the ugly rivalry between Hamilton and Rosberg that almost cost the drivers and the team the championship titles.

Formula One F1 – Bahrain Grand Prix – Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain – March 28, 2021 Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton celebrates winning the race Pool via REUTERS/Lars Baron

Hence, the Brackley outfit will be cautious when letting Hamilton and Russell race against each other on the track. Russell may have been quite a reckless driver in the past, causing silly mistakes on the track. However, ever since the Bottas incident in Imola earlier this season, the Briton has looked quite refreshing.

Also, the fact that the Williams driver almost managed to defeat Max Verstappen for pole and consequently for a race win at Spa proved his skills. Hence, Hamilton will be wary of Russell, as he has displayed a steep rise in performance since the 2021 Hungarian GP.

Russell’s title hopes depend on his start in 2022

Ever since Rosberg’s retirement from F1, Mercedes’ approach to a season has been quite different. From what we have noticed, the Brackley outfit would let their two drivers race each other during the early part of the season.

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And after about 5 to 6 race weekends, if one of the drivers is far ahead of the other, the prioritization lands on that particular driver, while the slower driver transitions into a wingman. This especially has been the case when Mercedes faces threats from rival constructors.

Formula One F1 – Belgian Grand Prix – Spa-Francorchamps, Spa, Belgium – August 29, 2021 Williams’ George Russell celebrates on the podium with the second place trophy REUTERS/Christian Hartmann

Hence, the early part of the 2022 season will be extremely crucial for Russell. If the Briton does manage to get a good start to his campaign, Mercedes could well look to focus on bringing more strong results out of the 23-year-old.

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However, if Russell fails to deliver a good start, well, in that case, he might have to take up the role Bottas had been playing for all these years. So, which one of the above-mentioned scenarios will Russell manage to deliver? Will Russell be able to prove that he is worth the hype?

Watch Story: Lewis Hamilton: Ranking His F1 World Titles From 2008 to 2020

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Rohit Kumar

1143 articles

Rohit Kumar is an F1 author at EssentiallySports. He has been an ardent follower of the racing series since 2007, with his love for the sport coinciding with his love for Kimi Raikkonen. He is also an ardent follower of Sebastian Vettel and Aston Martin Racing.

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