Russell: Hamilton will get higher with age ‘like a advantageous wine’
Seven-time F1 world champion Hamilton put pen to paper on a brand new two-year take care of Mercedes final week, making certain he’ll stay with the group till not less than the top of the 2023 season.
The contract will expire only one month shy of Hamilton’s fortieth birthday, with the Briton at present standing because the third-oldest driver on the grid behind Kimi Raikkonen and Fernando Alonso.
However Hamilton has continued to set new data in his late thirties, lately changing into the primary driver to hit 100 pole positions. He’s simply two wins away from the identical landmark for victories.
Mercedes junior and present Williams driver Russell mentioned it was good for F1 as a complete that Hamilton could be remaining on the grid, and that he was solely getting higher and higher.
“I’m actually happy to see Lewis staying within the sport, he’s clearly a worldwide celebrity, and nonetheless acting at an distinctive stage,” Russell mentioned.
“I assume he’s like a advantageous wine, he retains getting higher with age. Max [Verstappen] and Crimson Bull appear very robust, however I’m certain Lewis goes to be pushing the entire manner.
“As I say, I simply assume it’s actually nice for F1 to have a man like Lewis staying.”
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes W12, leaves the storage
Picture by: Steve Etherington / Motorsport Pictures
Russell has been closely linked with a doable transfer as much as Mercedes for subsequent yr because the group considers whether or not to signal him or retain Valtteri Bottas within the seat alongside Hamilton.
Requested if Hamilton staying was excellent news for him as effectively, Russell mentioned he needed “to be racing in opposition to one of the best drivers on the earth”.
“If Lewis wouldn’t be on the grid subsequent yr, it will be a disgrace, as a result of there could be one of many biggest of all-time not on the grid,” Russell mentioned.
“For me personally, I wish to compete in opposition to one of the best individuals on the earth, which I feel, to be trustworthy, on the grid proper now, we’ve acquired an excellent group of drivers who need to be right here.”
Mercedes has mentioned it intends to decide in regards to the second seat over the summer season, however Russell made clear he was not in any rush to get a name made about his future.
“I’m actually not pressurising anyone, as a result of I simply wish to do the speaking on the observe and simply give attention to circuit, as a result of I do know if I do the job on the observe, all the pieces will kind itself out,” Russell mentioned.
“Mercedes know me so effectively all through all of the years, and I’m involved with them day by day, because it has been for the final three years.
“They’ll get it accomplished, after they imagine it’s the best time, whichever manner they resolve to go.”