George Russell believes he was ready to move a year ago, for the 2021 season to Mercedes after replacing the sick Lewis Hamilton at the 2020 Sakhir Grand Prix. The young Briton will drive for the German team this year because the Silver Arrows have decided not to extend the contract of Valtteri Bottas, who will be behind the wheel of Alfa Romeo.
Russell showed what kind of driver he is in Sakhir when he found himself behind the wheel of a Mercedes. The then Williams driver had everything in front of him to come to victory. However, a clumsy change of tires made it impossible for him to do so.
After that, George returned to Williams and remained anonymous only a week later. Trapped in the back of the grid, Russell has finally received an invitation to become a Mercedes driver and replace the Finn for 2022. Speaking about the period he spent with Williams after three seasons, Russell believes he now has the skills to break through to the top.
"You always learn," Russell said in an interview with Motorsport Magazine. "Your natural speed is as it is. It's not getting any better, "he added, noting that there have been a lot of tweaks to his skills.
“How can I get more from my engineers? How to adjust the car? How to save tires on a cold day in Brazil? ”
Before vs now
Russell believes he was ready to go by Mercedes in 2021 but is wary of the fact that he felt ready even after his first season in 2019.
Just like in any sport, in F1 experience is one of the most important factors, and it was Russell who emphasized how important it is to gain experience and how much a person progresses with age. "After the first year, I felt ready," says Russell.
"I'm a better driver today than I was then." “Two years (at Williams) were perfect. This year (2021), I would be more than ready to move forward. " However, the terms of the contract he signed with Williams largely prevented him from becoming a Mercedes driver, as he signed a three-year contract with the Grove team when he arrived in Formula One.
"We signed for three years - there was absolutely nothing we could do about it," George Russell concluded. He will have the opportunity to show that he deserved to be in such a team, and his teammate will be one of the best Formula 1 drivers.