It’s no secret that Mercedes and nearly every F1 fan rate George Russell very highly. The Briton displayed all his talent last year while driving a lackluster Williams. Even though nobody thought it was quite possible, Russell put his car into Q2 more often than not.
His moment of crowning glory, however, came while driving for Mercedes. Filling in for Lewis Hamilton, no less, Russell bossed the weekend leading up to the Sakhir Grand Prix. After getting off to a great start in the race, George seemed in cruise control to bag his maiden win. However, some rotten luck robbed him of a chance to take home 25 points.
But what that performance did was prove that he is the real deal. With Valtteri Bottas failing to challenge Hamilton on a consistent basis, many tout Russell to take his seat with the Silver Arrows next year.
However, Russell is under no illusion. The Williams man wants to keep his head down and only focus on the 2021 campaign.
He said, “No, they’ve not said what I need to do (Mercedes). At the moment I’m just respectful to everybody at Williams and I will just be giving my absolute all for that team, as they have done for me for the last two years.
“I don’t like to think about the future. This sport changes incredibly quickly, people’s perception of drivers – your reputation [can change fast]. And outside factors, as we’ve seen [can come into play].”
Russell’s effort in Sakhir only gave him three points despite bossing the entire race. He was visibly gutted in the aftermath of that Grand Prix. However, the Williams man claims he’s now gotten over it.
He said, “It’s not eating me up inside, because I see the race almost was a victory in itself with how everything panned out.
“I think the pitstop fiasco almost gave me that opportunity to go out there and show what I can do in a very difficult circumstance – when the pressure is high.”
Despite not knowing what the future holds for him beyond 2021, Russell has no doubt established himself as a fan favorite. More importantly, he may have also established himself as a favorite for the Mercedes drive.