Hamilton waves off Russell's threat with Herbert's help

Hamilton, thanks to Herbert's support, confidently faces the challenge posed by Russell in the upcoming season.

Things didn't go exactly well for Lewis Hamilton last season as he lost to George Russell. Johnny Herbert, a British former racing driver, champion and former television announcer for Sky Sports F1, thinks Hamilton has a huge chance of winning as, obviously, Russell will put pressure on him.  

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Mercedes struggled in F1’s first year of racing, but Russell coped quite well with all the negatives. This can be proven as he got hold of Mercedes’ championship, P1 at the São Paulo Grand Prix, and also beat out Hamilton by 275 points, compared to 240 points. Because of all this, he became the third team-mate to beat the seven-time World Champion, overall. 

In explaining why and how most probably Russell beat his fellow countryman, Herbert said, “I think Lewis started last year probably a little bit frustrated, knowing the car wasn’t great. I don’t think he had the right mental approach because he was probably frustrated, as a racing driver would be as a seven-time World Champion, trying to get eighth, which was taken away from him.”

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Herbert, however, believes that the 38-year-old would have gathered back his strength for this season. “Now that opportunity has reset to get himself mentally and physically prepared for this season. It’s a good thing, maybe for Lewis, knowing that the pressure is going to be really hot from George.”

Hamilton is now conscious of the challenge that Russell brings to the table, and that will cause him to up his game. “It can be a very positive thing for a driver to know your team-mate is going to be strong, to be pushed. You know you need to up your game straightaway. Lewis has done that in the past, but he’s coming to the end of his career.”

Herbert believes Hamilton (as Mercedes' driver) could get back into the championship seat, although in the near future there could be changes as new talents emerge. Although other experts think that has already happened, Herbert is still in doubt. “Things change as you get older and when you have a young whippersnapper coming in, who’s hungry for that success, there is going to be a crossover at some point," he said. 

He continued, “Will that be this year? I would be surprised. But I think it’s going to be a mighty, tight tussle with George very hungry to try and take the reins away from Lewis, who won’t give up very easily as well. That’s what we want.”

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