Webber feels Russell is ready for Hamilton battle

Ben Johnston
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Mark Webber

Ex-Formula 1 driver Mark Webber says he believes that new Mercedes recruit George Russell is ready to battle Lewis Hamilton.

Webber is no stranger to going head to head with a World Champion team-mate having been alongside Sebastian Vettel during the German’s dominant phase of Formula 1 from 2010 to 2013 at Red Bull.

And the Aussie believes that the experience that Russell has accumulated in Formula 1 over the past three seasons will be a key attribute in ensuring that he is primed in going up against one of the best in Hamilton.

 

Speaking to Formelaustria.at, Webber said: “Going up against Lewis will be extremely challenging. But George has almost 50 races under his belt now, so he’s ready for it.”

When it comes to what Russell should expect when he is racing for Mercedes, Webber added: “George will know that there will be a huge shift in intensity that comes with the expectation of qualifying for the front row every week and finishing every race in the top positions.”

Webber also shared his thoughts on the plan to include more sprint races on the F1 calendar this season and he compared the format to tennis.

He said: “In sprint racing, we need to make sure that the consumer understands what they are watching and what F1 is trying to achieve, and that is not always easy.

“Even though the longer events sometimes get more boring, like in tennis, all the top players want to win the Grand Slams and the bigger tournaments.

“The best of the best find a way to win in five sets. So we have to be careful with the sprint races in F1 that they don’t become a bit of a lottery and reduce the prestige of the series.”

 

The 2022 Formula 1 season gets underway with Bahrain Grand Prix which takes place from March 18-20.

 

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