How good is Mercedes without Hamilton?

Bahrain this weekend will show whether Lewis Hamilton is “worth every penny” to Mercedes. That is the view of former F1 driver Ralf Schumacher, speaking after Mercedes decided to replace the covid-stricken seven time world champion with Williams’ 22-year-old Mercedes junior. “George already knows the car as a test driver for Mercedes,” Schumacher told Sky Deutschland. “Russell is by far one of the most talented young drivers around,” he added. “How good is a Mercedes if it doesn’t have a Hamilton in it?” Russell’s promotion also puts pressure on Valtteri Bottas, because if the Finn is matched this weekend or even beaten, that will be a compelling case for Mercedes to change drivers for 2022.

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