Fenland’s George Russell ‘on a level playing field’ with Lewis Hamilton

George Russell was announced as Lewis Hamilton's team-mate for 2022 in September last year.

George Russell was announced as Lewis Hamilton's team-mate for 2022 in September last year. - Credit: PA

Wisbech F1 star George Russell said he and Lewis Hamilton receive equal treatment at Mercedes and that the pair are “on a level playing field”.  

The 23-year-old, who grew up in Tydd St Giles, is in his first season as team-mate to Hamilton following Valtteri Bottas' departure at the end of last season. 

Russell, a former Wisbech Grammar School pupil, insists there will be no team orders and that Mercedes “trust us to go out there and race fairly”.  

Mercedes' George Russell during day three of pre-season testing at the Circuit de Barcelona-Cataluny

Mercedes' George Russell during day three of pre-season testing at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, Spain. - Credit: PA

He told BBC Sport: “We are on a level playing field.  

“There are no team orders, we have equal treatment totally and they [Mercedes] trust us to go out there and race fairly.”  

Speaking about his relationship with Formula One's most successful driver, he added: “We have a very open relationship.  

“I think because we are at very different stages of our careers there is a really strong mutual respect between us.  

Mercedes' George Russell during day three of pre-season testing at the Circuit de Barcelona-Cataluny

Mercedes' George Russell during day three of pre-season testing at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, Spain. - Credit: PA

“We both recognise our fight isn't with each other as it may be in some other teams.  

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“For us, we both want to win but at the moment we are not in a position to be able to win, so we need to work together and push in the same direction to make sure our car goes faster.”  

Russell signed to the Mercedes' junior programme in 2017, shadowing Hamilton for two years, before team principal Toto Wolff engineered the youngster's move to Williams. 

He was announced as Lewis Hamilton's Mercedes team-mate for 2022 in September last year 

Russell finished a career-high fourth in Bahrain on Sunday (March 20), the first Grand Prix of the 2022 Formula One season. 

The action continues at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix on March 27 at the Jeddah Corniche Circuit.