Hamilton Got 'Wake-Up Call' From Russell After Getting 'Comfortable' With Bottas As Teammate

Sunday, 17 March 2024 at 01:45
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Lewis Hamilton has spent 11 seasons in Mercedes, and over that period, he may have gotten too comfortable as he dominated against some of his teammates.
The British driver managed to win six World Championship titles with the German team, and the majority of those came with Valtteri Bottas as his teammate.
In fact, the Finnish driver never beat Hamilton in their five-year stint together in Mercedes, but the situation changed for the British driver with the arrival of George Russell in 2022.
The younger Brit was able to challenge him, and in their first season together, he even outscored the seven-time World Champion in the World Drivers' Championship.
According to Jacques Villeneuve, who spoke to GPFans.com, it was a wake-up call for Hamilton, who managed to outperform Russell in the following season, as he seemingly got a bit comfortable after dominating against his previous teammate.

"He was alone in the championship, basically. He didn't even need to be at his best to win like he had to do in his first championship. Or a few other years against Nico because Nico was really pushing him."

"He got really comfortable with Bottas, and he had a little bit of a wake-up call in 2022 when George [Russell] joined. George just had that young energy, wanting to destroy the world, and he did a lot better last year."

According to Villeneuve, the fact that Hamilton will move to Ferrari in 2025 may give him the young fighting spirit back, and that may eventually help him to return to his winning days again.

"Now, going to Ferrari might be like that little shock that you get... to give him that 'youth' attitude. It will be exciting to follow, and hopefully, we get the Lewis of his winning days back."

"That change might build up the hunger again, that little adrenaline rush that wasn't there with the Mercedes that wasn't winning anymore."