George Russell a Future F1 Champion? F1 CEO Gives His Thumbs Up

Published 02/07/2021, 6:08 AM EST
HUNGARORING, BUDAPEST, HUNGARY: George Russell of ROKiT Williams Racing in the paddock during the F1 Grand Prix of Hungary. (Photo by Marco Canoniero/LightRocket via Getty Images)


The progression of George Russell has come as no surprise to F1 enthusiasts who follow his work. Last year, the 22-year-old got his big break with defending champions Mercedes, filling in for Lewis Hamilton at the Sakhir GP.

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Swerving across the track and taking on experienced drivers with ease, Russell looked very much at home with the team’s W11 car. Although the eventual result was one of heartbreak, the young Briton had shown enough to warrant his credentials as a top-notch driver.

Formula 1 CEO Stefano Domenicali is also among Russell’s ardent admirers. When asked who between Hamilton and Russell he would prefer to see driving for Mercedes in 2021, the former Ferrari boss had an interesting response.

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Both Lewis Hamilton and George Russell can do great stuff for F1, said Domenicali

The F1 CEO stated, “George has shown the potential and, as Toto [Wolff, Mercedes team principal] was saying, he will be a future champion, no doubt. So it’s a matter of having both for me, with my responsibility, because both they can do great stuff for Formula 1.”

Building up to the F1 winter testing, speculation had suggested Russell could be among the candidates to drive for Mercedes next year.

Formula One F1 – Sakhir Grand Prix – Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain – Mercedes’ George Russell in action during practice Pool via REUTERS/Tolga Bozoglu

But seemingly now, the Williams driver may have to wait a little longer for his opportunity with Mercedes and make do with the Grove-based outfit’s machinery for the short term.

Russell could battle with Max Verstappen and Charles Leclerc for the F1 title in the future

That said, there isn’t an iota of a doubt in anyone’s minds that Russell would one day become a future F1 champion. His grit, on and off-track personality, and racecraft all lead to a potential racing superstar in the making.

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BAHRAIN, BAHRAIN – DECEMBER 05: Second place qualifier George Russell of Great Britain and Mercedes GP looks on in parc ferme during qualifying ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Sakhir at Bahrain International Circuit in Bahrain, Bahrain. (Photo by Dan Istitene – Formula 1/Formula 1 via Getty Images)

However, Russell would not have it easy, considering the likes of Verstappen at Red Bull and Leclerc at Ferrari would be eyeing titles as well. Regardless, it would make for an extremely intriguing competition between the trio to become the best.

For the time being, though, Russell would focus on notching some valuable F1 experience. But when the time does come, he will ensure that he is prepared for the task of becoming a world champion.

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MORE – Why Lewis Hamilton’s Rumored New Mercedes Deal Is a Blessing in Disguise for Russell

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Bhargav Gopal

927 articles

Hailing from Bengaluru, Bhargav is an F1 and NASCAR author for EssentiallySports. He is a huge fan of Max Verstappen and Red Bull Racing. Bhargav also has an MBA in Sports Management from the Symbiosis School of Sports Sciences, Pune.

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