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.
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.
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.
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.
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.