Coulthard: Russell in for 'an awakening' with Hamilton


David Coulthard is convinced that Lewis Hamilton will have the measure of his new Mercedes teammate George Russell, believing the seven-time world champion's vast experience will allow him to prevail.

The rivalry between Hamilton and Russell is one of the major talking points for 2022, with many believing the young gun will be snapping at his elder's heels from the outset and challenging for the world title.

Russell came close to clinching a sensational win in Bahrain in 2020 when he subbed for Hamilton at Mercedes in the penultimate round of the championship.

But Coulthard, who has no doubt that Hamilton will return to the fray this year despite the current speculation surrounding the Briton's future, believes Russell will have his work cut out to beat his teammate on race day.

"I think George will regularly match Lewis, and outqualify him," Coulthard told The Telegraph.

"I also think George is in for an awakening. He's still a puppy and puppies occasionally pee on the carpet."

Mercedes' new line-up will pit the most successful F1 driver in the sport's history against one of Grand Prix racing's brightest and most ambitious young talents.

While some fear the partnership will lead to inevitable flash points between Hamilton and Russell, Coulthard's former Williams teammate, Damon Hill, doesn't see the relationship "going wrong".

"It will be great to follow," said the 1996 world champion, quoted by "I’m sure Lewis will encourage George. I don’t see it going wrong.

"Lewis recognises that his shelf-life in the sport is shorter than George’s, so I’m sure he’ll be willing to lend a hand if needed. That is probably not necessary at all.”

"It’s up to George to decide how he’s going to handle it. You can approach such a situation with ‘he is the enemy, and I am going to teach him a lesson’.

"That might not be the smartest thing to do with Lewis next to you. So yes, we have a lot to look forward to.

"The boy has everything that is needed. He’s above the rest, you know."

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