George Russell Reveals How He Arranged His Williams F1 Drive at 2018 German GP

Published 07/13/2021, 9:44 AM EDT
Formula One F1 – Austrian Grand Prix – Red Bull Ring, Spielberg, Styria, Austria – July 3, 2021 Williams’ George Russell arrives at the circuit ahead of practice REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger

George Russell, who is part of the Mercedes junior driver’s program, joined Williams in 2019 on a three-year contract. Despite being so young, he managed to outqualify his teammate Robert Kubica at all 21 Grand Prix weekends in his rookie season. And he has been repeating this feat against his new teammate Nicholas Latifi since 2020.


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The 23-year-old, who is in the last year of his contract, recalled how he initiated talks with the Wantage-Based team on his own during the German GP 2018.

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What did George Russell say?

When asked about how he famously went to visit Frank Williams to decide his future, George Russell said, ” I think when I was younger, I always had the thoughts of, you know, you got to go out there and make it happen for yourself.

“You know, very rarely people come to you offering opportunities,” said Russell on the F1 Nation podcast.

Formula One F1 – Monaco Grand Prix – Circuit de Monaco, Monte Carlo, Monaco – May 19, 2021. Williams’ George Russell during a press conference ahead of the Monaco Grand Prix Pool via REUTERS/Sebastien Nogier.

Russell further added that he messaged Paddy Lowe, the chief technical officer at Williams, and got a meeting with him and Claire Williams.

“I went to Hockenheim in 2018 and I literally managed to get hold of, it starts with Paddy, actually, because I knew Paddy from Mercedes. I got his phone number and sent him a message and asked for a meeting with him and Claire, and just put myself in front of them and started the conversation.”

Russell heavily linked with Mercedes to replace Valtteri Bottas

George Russell and his potential move to Silver Arrows next season have been a topic of speculation for months now. In the last year of his contract, the young Brit is expected to replace Valtteri Bottas at the German team.

With Mercedes helpless in battle for the championship for the first time since the introduction of the hybrid era, the Finnish driver has been under fire in recent weeks.


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Formula One F1 – Austrian Grand Prix – Red Bull Ring, Spielberg, Styria, Austria – July 3, 2021. Williams’ George Russell in action during qualifying REUTERS/Lisi Niesner.

The 23-year-old drew everyone’s one attention in F1 when he replaced Lewis Hamilton at the Sakhir GP 2020 after the latter tested positive for coronavirus. Russell looked poised to win the race until he got involved in a botched pit stop; eventually, the young Brit finished the race at P9 and secured his very first F1 points.


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Russell, who is part of Mercedes’ junior driver program, is the favorite to become Lewis Hamilton’s teammate next season if they decided not to renew Valtteri Bottas’s contract.


Pingaksh Sharma

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Pingaksh Sharma is an F1 author at EssentiallySports. He has been following this sport since India hosted the Grand Prix in 2012 and has been an ardent supporter of the eventual race winner, Sebastian Vettel. He is also a fan of Max Verstappen and Red Bull and hopes the former breaks the Lewis Hamilton dominance.