“Russell is capable of keeping Hamilton behind him” is the appraisal of former Formula 1 champion, Finland’s Mika Häkkinen. The ex McLaren driver praises the talent of the “impressive” George Russell and believes he has the qualities to keep the “incredible” Lewis Hamilton behind him.
Two-time Formula One world champion Mika Häkkinen believes George Russell has the ability to keep Lewis Hamilton behind him at Mercedes.
After three years at Williams, George Russell has just completed his first season as a Mercedes driver, where he has arguably kept Lewis Hamilton at bay. The British driver finished the 2022 campaign in fourth place in the championship, 35 points ahead of his team-mate. He took pole position in Hungary and scored Mercedes’ only win of the year at the Brazilian Grand Prix, where he faced pressure from the seven-time world champion late in the race.
Mika Häkkinen, F1 world champion in 1998 and 1999, is urging George Russell to keep Lewis Hamilton in his sights and believes he can win the F1 title one day.
“Russell is incredible…”
“What he did in Brazil was great,” Häkkinen told Top Gear magazine. “The team has improved the car considerably to be able to win races. But is he able to continue that trend?”
“If he can carry on like this with that experience he’s gained at Mercedes and exploit what he’s gained in Formula One in general, he can keep Lewis behind. That’s really impressive.”
“Because Lewis is incredible. Incredible personality, incredible driver. So, if George can go, then I think England can go ‘Wow, what a driver we have.”
“The list is incredibly long when you start looking at every aspect to be a race driver. But he’s already got a very long career behind him.” the Finnish champion referring in particular to the GP3 and F2 titles George Russell won in 2017 and 2018 respectively.
“Talking about karting, all these other categories, and his knowledge of data, his ability to manage the car in extreme situations… I’m convinced he has all the potential to be a great driver, and potentially to become a world champion.”