Jenson Button gave some advice to George Russell for his Mercedes debut season, saying that he shouldn’t immediately aim for the top.
Russell joins Mercedes in 2022, and will be paired with seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton. No pressure on the former Williams driver, then, given that he is up against the very best in the business.
The dynamic between the two Mercedes drivers will be very interesting to see. The young prodigy versus the experienced elite will be incredible to watch, and will be reminiscent of the Hamilton-Alonso pairing in 2007 back at McLaren.
Button gave some advice to Russell for his Mercedes debut season, saying that he should use the year to learn from Hamilton and challenge him later.
“He’s got to not put pressure on himself,” Button told Sky Sports F1 as quoted by Planet F1.
“He can’t think ‘I’m going to get in the car and be quicker than Lewis on day one.’ He’s got to build up to it, otherwise he’s going to shoot himself in the foot. You can’t be too confident alongside Lewis.
“Lewis this year is a very different Lewis to previous years, he was very relaxed, very confident in his ability.
“If he was insecure in the past, that’s gone, and we have got a very different Lewis. It feels like he found himself this year.”
What’s in his head?
Hamilton’s former teammate Nico Rosberg also weighed in on the situation and drew a blank at his mental state heading into the new season.
“It is impossible to be in his head,” Rosberg said.
“I don’t know how much he’s still enjoying it. I think the one little positive from the pandemic has been that it has become a little bit easier on the drivers, because there has been less PR, less media stuff, less sponsors. Even during a race weekend, things are lighter.
“Maybe that also plays a role and helps him extend a little bit.”