Jenson Button’s theory on Lewis Hamilton and George Russell chemistry

Lewis Hamilton opens up on difficult season for Mercedes

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Lewis Hamilton isn’t one to settle for second-best, but Jenson Button has praised the manner in which the seven-time Formula 1 champion has handled George Russell’s Mercedes arrival. And it’s Button’s belief Hamilton wouldn’t have handled the ‘threat’ of Russell so maturely earlier in his career.

Former Williams gem Russell boasts a 25-point lead over his Silver Arrows comrade after snatching his maiden F1 win in Sunday’s Sao Paulo Grand Prix. Hamilton sealed his third successive second-place finish, meanwhile, as Mercedes saw out a meaningful one-two ahead of the campaign-closer in Abu Dhabi.

“Obviously Lewis doesn’t want George beating him because Lewis wants to win every race,” said the 2009 F1 world champion during a recent appearance on Any Driven Monday. “As a racing driver that’s the way you’re programmed.

“But for Lewis, I think five years earlier if George came into the team, we’d see a very different Lewis Hamilton in terms of his views on his team-mate and his opinions on him. But Lewis is such a rounded character now in terms of the way that he goes racing.

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“He’s had so much success in the sport and he probably won’t be racing for so many years so he’s probably thinking ‘this guy is basically as good as it gets for people in their 20s right now. I’m in my late 30s and I’m still able to fight him or even beat him’. So yeah, I think Lewis is very comfortable within himself.”

This season has been a difficult one to judge for the Brackley-based team due to Mercedes’ struggles mastering the W13’s design. That being said, Button is clearly impressed at how his former McLaren partner of three seasons (2010-12) has adjusted to so much change.


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He went on to highlight the very respectful dynamic between Russell and Hamilton as being crucial to their success. The first-year Mercedes debutant looks all but certain to finish ahead of Hamilton in the standings when the season wraps up at Yas Marina Circuit on Sunday.

The 2022 campaign will be Hamilton’s first winless year in F1 if he fails to pull off what would be a very unexpected victory in Abu Dhabi. However, a pick-up in form over the second half of the term and early signs of a flourishing driver partnership pose big positives for what’s to come in 2023.

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