2018 Chinese Grand Prix, Sunday - Paul Ripke

Mario Andretti has tipped George Russell to get the same equiptment as Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes, but perhaps not the same treatment.

Russell will leave Williams and join the seven-time champion at Mercedes for the next season. The youngster has been touted by many as a future world champion. Mercedes will still rightfully consider Hamilton their main man, but Russell will make his mark on the team.

Andretti tipped Russell to get the same treatment as Hamilton at Mercedes, saying that Hamilton won’t hinder the rise of the 23-year-old.

“I’m sure that Mercedes in some ways will always favour Lewis, and justifiably so, but at the same time I’m sure George will have the same equipment,” Andretti said, as quoted by express.co.uk.

Lewis Hamilton and George Russell
Andretti says Russell (left) will get his spotlight with Hamilton (right). Source: express.co.uk

“I think you’ve just got to wait for those things to unfold. We’ll see what happens. The one that impressed me, who has really shown that he can be a future champion, is George. 

“By having that opportunity in Bahrain and stepping up the way he did, and even with Williams at Spa, with the conditions… rain is always a great equaliser and he showed his skills by doing what he did there. That’s (something) to be looking forward to, how he will fare next to Lewis next year.”

Welcome to Mercedes

Russell’s move was hailed as the next big thing in F1. Mercedes Team Principal was all smiles when it was announced, and heaped praise on Russell at the time.

“He has been a winner in every racing category – and the past three seasons with Williams have given us a taste of what the future could hold for him in F1,” Wolff said.

“Now, it is our challenge together to help him continue learning within our environment and alongside Lewis, the greatest F1 driver of all time. 

“I am confident that as their relationship grows, they will form a strong team and deliver for Mercedes on and off the track in the years ahead,” he concluded.

Read more: Wolff believes Russell is very smart at choosing the right time to ‘gamble’ during races

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