On raw pace terms, Russell and Hamilton were one of the most evenly-matched teammate pairings on the grid, particularly in qualifying.

However, the disparity came on race day, with Russell either struggling relative to Hamilton or making crucial race-ending mistakes (Canada, Singapore).

In the end, Hamilton finished third in the drivers’ championship, while Russell had to settle for a disappointing eighth-place.

Reflecting on the campaign, Russell admitted it was “the toughest season” he’s had “psychologically”.

“No doubt, it’s been probably the toughest season I’ve ever had psychologically," he told Motorsport Magazine.

"Bouncing back from missed opportunities, missed results, mistakes. I think this is when you push yourself. 

“And probably when I sit through my championship years, I probably wasn’t being pushed as much as I’m pushing myself now.”

Russell was able to finish ahead of Hamilton in his first year with Mercedes in 2022 - but that’s not enough for the younger British driver.

“I’m purposely trying to push myself further and beyond, and I’m not satisfied with just being on par with my team-mate in qualifying or whatever it may be,” he added.

“Or [2022 when] we were very even across the whole season. I want to be ahead. And that’s what I’m pushing myself for.”