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Formula 1 and IndyCar legend Mario Andretti says he is taking the wait-and-see approach with george russell at Mercedes before judging his performances against Lewis Hamilton.

Russell joins Mercedes this season replacing Valtteri Bottas as teammate to Lewis Hamilton and Andretti, who not only won the 1969 Indianapolis 500 but also became Formula 1 World Champion with Colin Chapman’s Lotus team. in 1978, he believes Russell has big shoes to fill this season against Hamilton, who will try to bounce back from a difficult season in 2021.

Andretti, whose son Michael came close to buying the Alfa Romeo Racing F1 team last year, believes Russell will have to prove that his performance in Bahrain with Mercedes in 2020 was not just a one-off.

The American believes Russell has some big shoes to fill when it comes to joining Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes to replace Valtteri Bottas, who joined the Alfa Romeo F1 Team.

Andretti said “You have huge shoes to fill! Not only against Lewis, but also against Valtteri, who was a strong and valuable teammate. We’ve seen what George did in Bahrain, in a unique situation, so hopefully he shows up really strong. [performance].”

Andretti concluded: “But we always wait and see. You can draw a lot of conclusions, but until it’s proven… Sometimes it’s a one-time thing that really works and then when you’re really there it gets a little harder.”

Russell, who has been nicknamed ‘Mr. Saturday helped the Williams team finish P8 in the Constructors’ Championship in 2021 and was consistent. This is something he will need to continue if he is to be in a position to challenge Hamilton this season.

Mercedes is embarking on a new chapter within the team this year with the arrival of Russell, combining youth with experience and it will be very interesting to watch the dynamics within the team throughout the year.

The 2022 Formula 1 season kicks off with the Bahrain Grand Prix March 18-20.

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