Russell reveals how far he had to go to beat Hamilton

George Russell has revealed how Lewis Hamilton pushed him “to the limit” as a driver after finishing ahead of the seven-time champion in the final Formula 1 qualifying at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

Russell entered the Yas Marina final on 265 points to Hamilton’s 240, meaning that a Hamilton win coupled with a Russell DNF would have seen the two swap positions.

As it happened, Hamilton retired late with a gearbox/hydraulic problem, and Russell took fifth in the race to secure fourth in the drivers’ championship.

Hamilton’s retirement resulted in a sixth-place finish in the drivers’ standings, his lowest placement in an F1 championship.

The younger Brit, who is only the third teammate to beat Hamilton in a season, revealed just how far he had to go.

Year Driver Equipment Points hamilton


jenson button


270 – 2nd place

227 – 5th place


nico rosberg


385 – 1st place

380 – 2nd place


george russell


275 – 4th place

240 – 6th place

Russell at the limit to beat Hamilton

“I feel incredibly lucky to be with a team like Mercedes and teammates with Lewis, he really pushed me to the limit as a driver,” Russell explained to the media, including RacingNews365.com.

“I’ve learned a lot going up against someone like him in the same car.

“There is no better reference.

“If you told me that at the beginning of the season [I’d finish ahead]I would have been incredibly proud and incredibly happy about that, because nine times out of 10 if you finish ahead of Lewis Hamilton, you’ll probably be World Champion.

“We’ve all had our own difficulties. I have no doubt that he will probably be back to normal next year.”

“I think he had a very difficult start to the season when things were not going well for him, and they were probably a little better for me.

“That kind of wavered a bit [in] the second half of the season, but looking back on the season as a whole, it probably evened out.”

Russell relieved with his first victory

After a troubled season, Russell took his first F1 win at the Brazilian Grand Prix, Mercedes’ only win of the season.

While he was happy to break his duck, he was anxious not to get too carried away.

“We are proud of what we achieved [in Brazil]but I am here to try to become Formula 1 World Champion, and we have a long road ahead of us,” he added.

“Of course it’s good to get it off your back, but you’re just as good as you were at your last race and the last race was here in Abu Dhabi.”

“We finished fifth [in the race] and fourth in the championship.

“We’re going to look back on the season with a lot of pride but, equally, knowing that there’s a lot to improve if we want to fight Max.” [Verstappen and Red Bull].”

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