George Russell has confident Lewis Hamilton message as F1 star issues challenge

Formula 1 star George Russell has outlined his ambition to leapfrog Lewis Hamilton and be ahead of his Mercedes teammate in 2024. Russell finished eighth in the 2023 World Driver’s Championship, which was won by Red Bull’s Max Verstappen for a third consecutive year.

Russell did not win a race throughout the season and had just two podium finishes to his name. The 2023 F1 season was Russell’s second year with Mercedes and as Hamilton’s teammate. Hamilton also did not win a race across the season but did have six podium finishes as Red Bull achieved unprecedented dominance.

The head-to-head record between Hamilton and Russell saw the seven-time World Champion ahead 15-6 across the season. In qualifying, though, the results were level at 11-11 between the two drivers.

With both Hamilton and Russell’s points, Mercedes was able to finish second in the Constructor’s Championship behind winners Red Bull. Mercedes finished with 409 points, with 234 of those being earned by Hamilton and the remaining 174 by Russell.

Now that the 2023 season has come to an end, both Mercedes drivers will be looking to provide more competition for Verstappen in 2024. For Russell, he also has the added motivation of competing against his teammate next season.

Russell, who finished 59 points and five places behind Hamilton in the Driver’s standings, has outlined his ambition to be Mercedes’ number one driver in 2024. He also explained how the disappointment of the past 12 months on the track has not affected his confidence in achieving his goals next year.

“No doubt, it’s been probably the toughest season I’ve ever had psychologically,” Russell told Motorsport Magazine. “Bouncing back from missed opportunities, missed results, mistakes. I think this is when you push yourself.

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“And probably when I sit through my championship years, I probably wasn’t being pushed as much as I’m pushing myself now.

“I’m purposely trying to push myself further and beyond, and I’m not satisfied with just being on par with my teammate [Hamilton] in qualifying or whatever it may be.

“Or [2022 when] we were very even across the whole season. I want to be ahead. And that’s what I’m pushing myself for.”

The final months of the 2023 season saw Hamilton linked with a switch to Ferrari. The rumours continued even after the news was announced that Hamilton had signed a new contract with Mercedes.

August 31 saw the news that Hamilton had agreed a two-year extension with Mercedes that will run until the end of the 2025 F1 season. Russell was also confirmed as having his contract with Mercedes extended alongside Hamilton’s for the next two years.

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