Williams: Hamilton exposure will be 'extremely valuable' for Russell
|By Scott Mitchell||Saturday, January 26th 2019, 09:23 GMT|
Being Mercedes' reserve driver and watching five-time world champion Lewis Hamilton up close will be "extremely valuable" to Formula 1 rookie George Russell, reckons Williams technical chief Paddy Lowe.
Russell spent the 2018 season as Mercedes' official reserve alongside his title-winning Formula 2 campaign, spending time embedded in the team that has won the last five F1 drivers' and constructors' championship.
Lowe, who was part of the Mercedes top brass before moving to Williams for the start of the 2017 season, reckons Russell is "intelligent and humble" enough to have learned from the exposure that gave him to Hamilton.
"I think that would be really valuable," Lowe told Autosport.
"Drivers can have a tendency to work in their own bubble and by nature they are super competitive, so you are wired up to think you are the best.
"That's the definition of the ultimate competitor, which is what you want in a Formula 1 driver, [but] that's at odds from a personality point of view to look at someone else and say, 'I want to learn from him' or 'I admire him because he's better than me'.
"It's counter to your wiring. George is intelligent enough and humble enough to take advantage of and appreciate that privilege to work alongside someone who is undoubtedly well ahead of him at the moment.
"For him to have seen exactly how Lewis works, what are the things he spends his time on, what is his approach, what is his attitude, will prove to be extremely valuable in the future."
Russell has previously admitted he was relieved to see how hard Hamilton works and confirm that he is not only successful through talent alone.
Speaking about how he attempted to make the most of his time with Hamilton and Mercedes, Russell said he tried to "use my ears more than my mouth and follow from afar".
"Every driver is different and if one driver drives in a certain way he probably can't translate that into another driver if he says 'Do this, do that'," Russell told Autosport.
"Every driver has to find their own way of driving, but the things I've learned is how he interacts with the team, the feedback and everything and that's what I could learn.
"Lewis does offer bits of advice here and there, but like I say I use my ears more than my mouth."