Valtteri Bottas sends advice to George Russell ahead of Mercedes switch in 2022

George Russell joins Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes

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Valtteri Bottas has sent some much-needed advice to Formula One rising star George Russell ahead of the 23-year-old’s move to Mercedes for the 2022 season.

With Bottas making the move to Alfa Romeo next campaign, it was announced that Russell would be the Finn’s replacement at Mercedes to form an all-British lineup alongside seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton.

During his four years with the Mercedes team Bottas was often seen playing second fiddle to his teammate Hamilton, who has secured every Formula One title since the Finn joined him in 2017.

Despite this, Bottas has revealed that he has given Russell some reassuring advice ahead of his move to the constructor champions next term.

Speaking on the Beyond the Grid podcast, the 32-year-old admitted he told the youngster: “Give yourself a bit of leeway, don’t think too short-term. There’s always so much to learn and take things step by step.”

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Russell has announced himself as one of Formula One rising stars since his rookie campaign in 2019, having driven for Williams and as a stand-in driver for his new employers at the 2020 Sakhir Grand Prix.

Bottas then went on to praise the Englishman’s ability behind the wheel, adding he feels he will only get better alongside his national counterpart Hamilton.

The Finn continued: “He’s a talented driver and he’s going to have a great team to support him and he’s alongside Lewis who he’ll be able to learn from so I don’t think I need to give him too much advice.

“Maybe the mistake I made was I was a little too harsh on myself in the beginning but I’m sure he’ll be fine.”

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Russell has enjoyed his best campaign to date as a Formula One driver this term, as he secured his first ever podium finish in Belgium back in August.

The placing came in rather strange circumstances though, as his impressive second place performance in qualifying proved enough for a spot on the podium, after the race was postponed after two laps due to adverse weather conditions.

Despite not being required to finish the race, the young Englishman revealed he was happy to take his first ever podium place no matter what the circumstances.

Following the postponement in August Russell said: “We will take it no matter what and I think we’ve also got to remember it was only last race that we scored our first points together with Williams in our third season and here we are standing on the podium at the Belgian Grand Prix.”

He later added: “You’ve got to take it as it comes. Like I said, the hard work was done yesterday, so fantastic to get some reward for that.

“I am not quite as elated as I would ordinarily be but going back to the garage, celebrating with the guys, trophy in hand, champagne in the other hand. I am sure we will all remember this for a long, long time.”

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