George Russell had an eye-catching 2020 campaign. The young Briton showcased his ability whilst driving a poor Williams by consistently making it into Q2. However, the feather in his cap last year was when he stood in for Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes for the Sakhir Grand Prix.
All throughout that weekend, Russell demonstrated why he is often touted to be one of the most talented drivers on the grid. Had luck been in his favor, he could have won the race quite.
Unfortunately, that didn’t happen. What happened was quite the opposite. It involved some bungling in the Mercedes pits, wrong tires, and a puncture. And the next week, poor Russell returned to drive for Williams.
It must be incredibly frustrating for someone like Russell to still be at Williams. But according to Hamilton, it is only a learning curve. The 7-time World Champion is sure that his experience at the Enstone-based outfit will pay off.
He said (translated via Google), “What he has done is similar in a way to what Alonso did. Many talented pilots talented pilots have to start in a smaller team, to then have the opportunity to grow, improve, be able to make mistakes and then lead a team from there.
“I think this year, it was great how he handled everything and what he did with that car. Putting him in Q2 quite often and delivering great results is not easy at all.”
Like many others, Hamilton too thinks that Russell is destined to achieve greatness. He said, “I am really impressed with his ability to manage races and how he is growing and I really believe that he is the future.
“There are several drivers who are the future of the sport, but he is one of them and I am very excited to see his progression. I have no doubt that he has the potential to be a future champion.”
Many fans feel that Russell should be promoted to Mercedes on a permanent basis. And in all honesty, it seems unlikely that the Silver Arrows will continue with Valtteri Bottas beyond 2021.
Russell’s chance to be a title challenger will come sooner or later. But for now, at Williams, his aim will be to get the team some handy points and lift them up from the bottom of the table.