George Russell is pleased with his performances so far with Mercedes – but wants more as he fights to prove himself against Lewis Hamilton.

The young Brit was given the unenviable task of going up against the seven-time world champion this season. It is something many previous team-mates have tried and failed to do, such as predecessor Valtteri Bottas who became stuck in Hamilton’s shadow.

But so far the Norfolk-born racer has more than held his own. After the first 12 races of his maiden season with Mercedes, he has scored 16 more points than his team-mate and has delivered the more consistent results.

Lewis Hamilton warning

Even more impressive is that he has managed to do so at a difficult time for the team. Russell might have expected to compete for race wins straight away with his new car, but the Silver Arrows have not been as competitive as had been the case over the past eight seasons.

He has proven his worth by out-performing Hamilton over the course of the year, but still he wants more from himself. “Going up against the greatest driver of all time, where do you set your expectations?” he told BBC Sport .

“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.”

Russell has produced a remarkable consistency of results so far in 2022. Other than at the British Grand Prix, where his race lasted for just a few seconds before he was taken out in a huge smash at the first corner, he has finished in the top five at every single Grand Prix.

“The results are good on paper,” he admitted. “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. 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.”

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