George Russell gets advice from the very top as Lewis Hamilton says ‘enjoy the ride’

PUBLISHED: 15:01 23 November 2018 | UPDATED: 14:17 26 November 2018

George Russell in Abu Dhabi where he hopes to clinch the F2 title ahead of his debut in Formual One next season Picture: PA

George Russell in Abu Dhabi where he hopes to clinch the F2 title ahead of his debut in Formual One next season Picture: PA

Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

Norfolk’s George Russell has been given some expert advice on his future in Formula One – by the man at the top of his game.

World champion Lewis Hamilton knows what the 20-year-old Russell will face when he lines up in Williams’ colours in Australia for next season’s opening race.

The key, he says, is for Russell, and fellow newcomer Lando Norris – to enjoy the experience.

Hamilton’s road to the top began with McLaren in 2007, alongside Fernando Alonso.

“The preparation is even further ahead from where I was, you know, simulations... George has been with us in all debriefs – pre-briefs and debriefs – and he’s been on the simulator, so the preparation is a lot better than it was, I guess back in our time,” said Hamilton ahead of this weekend’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

“Even mine was already great. So, yeah, I think they just have to arrive and enjoy. There’s a different confidence level now, I think, from the younger side, being that there is that preparation. I think it’ll be an exciting experience. I can’t remember how it was for me, to be honest, in my first race.”

His views were echoed by Alonso, racing in F1 for the final time this weekend.

“I think they will have more experience, they will have more preparation,” said Alonso. “They will be excited, yes, but they will be very well prepared when Australia comes. It’s just a matter of executing the race and follow all the engineering help that we have these days.”

Russell has first to settle the F2 championship, in which he has a 37-point lead with 48 available.

“We’ve had a fantastic season, so there is no real reason to change the approach,” he said.

“We have a very healthy margin, but anything can still happen and I think we’ve seen that throughout the whole season.

“For me it’s extremely important.

“You’re only ever going to have this opportunity once to win Formula 2 in your rookie season. “To go back on the stats in years to come, and say ‘I won the F2 championship off the back of, again, winning GP3 in my rookie year, would be incredible.

“To be among the names who did win it in their rookie year, [Lewis] Hamilton, [Nico] Rosberg, [Nico] Hulkenberg, it’s a great bunch to be associated with.”

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