George Russell admits he’s eager to “raise his game” at Mercedes this season with Lewis Hamilton outperforming him within the final 4 races.
While Russell – in his first season with the Silver Arrows after three years at Williams – is 16 factors forward of the seven-time world champion within the Drivers Standings, Hamilton has recaptured some kind previously month having completed on the rostrum in Montreal, Silverstone, Spielberg and Le Castellet.
Russell’s 2022 report of ending within the top-five of each race succumbed to a first-lap DNF at Silverstone however he completed fourth in Austria and third in France forward of this weekend’s Hungarian Grand Prix, the ultimate race earlier than the summer time break.
Yet the 24-year-old insists he nonetheless must “keep on improving” as he targets his first win in Formula 1 this season, with Mercedes lastly having obtained to grips with the porpoising and bouncing which curtailed hopes of a Grand Prix win within the early phases of the season.
“Going up against the greatest driver of all time, where do you set your expectations?” Russell stated, in an interview with the BBC. “It’s by no means been a bad start to the season, but I would still like to raise my game a little bit.
“If I’m performing against the very best in sport – and I want to be the very best – I need to be at the top of my game every single week. I need to keep on improving. I need to look at my team-mate and see if he’s consistently doing something better. And there are certain little things that he is probably consistently better at than I am, for the time being, that I want to improve on.
“I expected no less, and I think that’s just a natural part of an athlete’s or driver’s development… the results are good on paper. But I think every individual, you know if you’re performing at the top of your game or if you feel like you’ve got more to improve.”
Russell is but to complete within the top-two this season regardless of 4 third-place finishes this season, along with his battle in opposition to Red Bull’s Sergio Perez late on in France claiming a fourth place on the rostrum after he pounced on the finish of the late digital security automobile interval.
“It’s been a good start to the season, but there are definitely areas that I need to improve, and I definitely can improve, and I have been improving throughout the season,” he added. “So I guess that’s exciting for the future. But racing drivers aren’t patient. I want to be right on top of my game today.
“My approach is to try not to look at what the others are doing too much because I truly believe that you have to to get the most out of yourself. You can’t almost copy, paste what somebody else is doing. I’m just going out there to try and do my own business, to do the best possible job that I can. And if I’m ahead of Lewis, great. If I was a bit behind, that’s how it is.
“But I still believe in myself and I believe I’ve got the potential to win championships. It’s all about the mentality you have.”