George Russell has revealed how Mercedes star Lewis Hamilton has helped him develop after being signed to a 2019 race seat with Williams. Russell has been a member of Mercedes' junior driver programme since 2017 and is poised to secure the Formula 2 championship this year.
Russell officially penned a "multi-year" deal with Williams this week, confirming a step up to F1 after following British Formula 4 and GP3 title-winning years with a fine debut season in F2.
The 20-year-old needs a podium finish in either race at the season-ending race in Abu Dhabi to be crowned champion, by which time Hamilton will likely have wrapped up a fifth world title.
And Russell says having one of the sport's modern-day greats available to talk to has helped him make it to the top.
Russell told The Sun: "Being with Mercedes has helped me 100 per cent.
"I have been in a very privileged position to have the opportunity to be so up close and personal with Lewis and Valtteri [Bottas] and how they interact with the team. That will help me move forward next year.
"I have a good relationship with Lewis.
"He is a friendly and talkative guy within the team environment, which you would not expect from the outside from the perception he is given.
"I was really surprised when I met him.
"He has given me a few tips, none of which I wish to share because I am in a privileged position getting advice from one of the best ever drivers in F1.
"So any advice I get, I am not going to pass that on!"
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