F1 viewers were absolutely gutted for young George Russell when he crossed the checkered flag in the Sakhir GP. The 22-year-old was on track for his first-ever F1 race win but had to ultimately contend with a decent points finish in P9.
Fans across social media took to display their support and encouragement for Russell after his mighty performance. One person among those was ex-Red Bull driver Mark Webber.
Russell had earlier posted a video on his Instagram profile, talking about his race experience and thanking everyone for their support. Webber dropped in an interesting comment in the comments section soon after.
Webber, whose username on Instagram is ‘aussiegrit,’ commented, “Should be in there for 21 mate.” Messages similar to that sentiment were vividly seen across Russell’s post’s comments section.
Despite the calls for Mercedes to take Russell for next year, the realities of the matter are completely different. As it stands, Hamilton and Bottas would most likely continue as the team’s first-choice pairing for the 2021 F1 season.
Regardless, the current Williams driver showed what he could do when given the right machinery. It now actually gives team principal Toto Wolff something to think about for the future.
There are a few times where results do not tell the whole story, and Russell’s Sakhir GP display was one of them. Despite finishing P9, everyone knew he was equally worthy of a Grand Prix win on his Mercedes debut.
His race start, tire management, overtaking ability, and grit were on full showcase as he weaved across his rivals to make his impression on the race. A late move on teammate Valtteri Bottas exhibited the skill that Russell had. It also proved he was not one to back down from challenges.
Russell could possibly stay at Williams for another year. However, the defending champions know that they have a capable driver in their ranks. When the right time does come, he can emerge to grab the golden opportunity with both hands.