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Hamilton responds to fears of Rosberg repeat with Russell

Hamilton responds to fears of Rosberg repeat with Russell

Hamilton responds to fears of Rosberg repeat with Russell

Hamilton responds to fears of Rosberg repeat with Russell

Lewis Hamilton has calmed fears of a potential rift with Mercedes team-mate George Russell should the pair vie for F1 title honours next year.

The seven-time champion saw his previously strong relationship with former team-mate Nico Rosberg crumple under the weight of the ferocious rivalry that developed at Mercedes.

This was due to the fact that for three years from 2014-16, the two drivers were the only ones in the hunt for the championship.

With Valtteri Bottas unable to push Hamilton to such extremes, this relationship stood the test of time.

After Russell became just the third driver to beat the 37-year-old across a season this term, and with expectations high for Mercedes to return to title contention next year, there is the potential for another high-profile fallout.

But Hamilton expects the situation to play out differently. He said: “The equilibrium in the team, in terms of the working relationship, is strong.

“I’m a lot older and I’ve been with the team for so long, so managing whatever challenges we come up with moving forward, we’ve been through so much that I don’t think it’s going to be a problem.”

Hamilton impressed by Russell

Russell secured Mercedes' only win of the season after leading Hamilton to a one-two finish at the penultimate race in São Paulo.

Asked to assess his team-mate's job in his first season as a Mercedes factory driver, Hamilton added: "You have to say that it’s impressive what he did this year, the consistency he had and how he arrived and just hit the ground running.

“It’s not like he arrived in a completely brand new team. He was, just the previous couple of years, sitting right behind me and watching the work I was doing with the engineers, with Riki [Riccardo Musconi], who is now his number one.

“It’s been super-easy to blend in. He uses my steering wheel and he’s obviously got to do the test days prior to the year, so he’s just blended in perfectly and has been a positive force in the team."

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