George Russell gives Lewis Hamilton vs Michael Schumacher GOAT verdict – ‘Obviously’

F1: How Hamilton compares to Schumacher

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Plenty have given their verdict on who they think is the greatest F1 racer of all time, with Lewis Hamilton or Michael Schumacher at the top of most people’s lists due to their shared record number of drivers’ championships won. George Russell is the latest to weigh in on the debate, with it all but confirmed that he will be racing alongside the former at Mercedes next season.

Hamilton and Schumacher are both seven-time world champions, with the Briton bidding to hold the record outright by claiming an eighth success in 2021.

Standing in his way is Max Verstappen, who is yet to lift a world title but is tipped as someone who could dominate the sport for years to come.

Both Hamilton and Verstappen have heaped praise onto Russell, another who is expected to be challenging at the top of the standings from next season.

When asked by Sky Sports F1’s Jenson Button about what that sort of praise means to him, Russell responded by referring to Hamilton as the best driver the sport has ever seen.

He said: “These are guys that I respect a huge amount. Lewis is obviously the greatest of all time and Max, everyone knows how fast and talented he is.

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“So to hear those comments is always a nice feeling. But equally, these comments don’t make you faster on track.”

Instead of looking up to the likes of Hamilton and Verstappen, Russell hopes to be racing alongside them as rivals next season.

He told Button he expects to take his maiden F1 victory “next year”, hinting at his impending Mercedes move despite later insisting he was referring instead to the technical rule changes set to come into force in 2022.

The Williams man’s path to joining Mercedes is now clear, following official confirmation that Valtteri Bottas will move to Alfa Romeo after the conclusion of the current campaign.

The Finn replaces compatriot Kimi Raikkonen, who is retiring after 19 seasons in the sport.

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Even though his future lies with the Italian team, Bottas says he has unfinished business with Mercedes in the current campaign and vowed to do all he can to help Hamilton to that eighth title.

He said: “Alfa Romeo is a brand that needs no introduction, they have written some great pages of Formula 1 history and it’s going to be an honour to represent this marque.

“The potential of the setup in Hinwil is clear and I am relishing the opportunity to help lead the team forward up the grid, especially with the new regulations in 2022 giving the team a chance to make a leap in performance.

“I’m grateful for the trust the team has put in me and I cannot wait to repay their faith – I’m as hungry as ever to race for results and, when the time comes, for wins.

“I know Fred [Vasseur] well and I am looking forward to getting to know the rest of the team I am going to work with, building relationships as strong as the ones I have at Mercedes.

“I am proud of what I have achieved in Brackley and I am fully focused on finishing the job as we fight for another world championship, but I am also looking forward to the new challenges that await me next year.”

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