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Lewis Hamilton told to "up your game" as George Russell pressure is "really hot"

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Lewis Hamilton has been backed to see off the challenge of “young whippersnapper” George Russell this year – though Johnny Herbert expects the younger Brit to put “really hot” pressure on his Mercedes team-mate.

Hamilton and Russell will share a garage for a second year, having formed a strong partnership last year. Their car was not capable of a title challenge, but both drivers did well to extract as many points as they could over the course of the campaign.

Russell got the better of his much more experienced team-mate overall, scoring 35 points more and getting that one race win in Brazil. Explaining his thoughts on why that was the case, former F1 driver Herbert told Total Motorsport : “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.”

But the now former Sky Sports pundit thinks Russell will do well to beat Hamilton again this time around. He added: “Now, that opportunity has reset to get himself mentally and physically prepared. It’s a good thing, maybe for Lewis, knowing that the pressure is going to be really hot from George.

“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.

Johnny Herbert has given his view on the balance of power at Mercedes
Getty Images)

“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.

“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.”

Mercedes will pull the covers back on the car Hamilton and Russell will be driving this season, the W14, at an event on Wednesday, February 15.

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