Mercedes driver George Russell got it wrong 2 years in a row and he’s a better Formula 1 driver because of it

Rarely has so much been asked of a newcomer who so far has accomplished so little. But George Russell is the driver Mercedes believes gives him the best chance to maintain his superiority in Formula 1. Bragging rights, the reputation of one of the world’s most prestigious consumer brands and tens of millions. dollars depend on it.

There might be a better time to confirm it, but it might as well be now. It certainly wasn’t two seasons ago, or even last year.

George Russell joins world-class team in uncertain times

George Russell walks in the paddock ahead of the Qatar F1 Grand Prix on November 18, 2021 in Doha, Qatar. | Matthew Lewis – Formula 1 via Getty Images

George Russell, who will be 24 before the start of the new season, has been part of the plans for the Mercedes Formula 1 team for some time. The sport’s dominant team over the past decade appointed him as a reserve driver four years ago and called him up in a pinch during the 2020 season. So, it didn’t surprise anyone when Mercedes l ‘appointed as a replacement last year when she decided not to extend Valtteri Bottas’ contract beyond 2021.

However, the presumption at the time was that Russell’s role would be complementary; Lewis Hamilton’s success would continue to be the team’s priority, but Russell would be counted on to help maintain Mercedes ‘position at the top of the constructors’ standings, a title that is both a matter of pride and the source. substantial prices in Formula 1.

Although unlikely, it is possible that this is no longer the case. After a devastating loss to Max Verstappen in the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, which ended the season, missing an eighth World Drivers’ Championship record, Hamilton has not publicly stated that he will return for the 2022 season. of F1.

If Hamilton does retire, Russell needs to do more than just record a constant stream of podiums. The team will need him to win races against players like first-time champion Verstappen and the highly accomplished Sergio Perez, Carlos Sainz, Lando Norris and Charles Leclerc.

Welcome to the team, Georges.

New Mercedes driver George Russell got it wrong two years in a row

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Signing with the Mercedes Formula 1 team is a bit like being a quarterback drafted by the Green Bay Packers; you’re gonna have to wait your turn because the guy in front of you is pretty good.

George Russell experienced this after winning the 2017 GP3 Series championship. The feat earned him a seat in the following season’s Formula 2 series, but it also prompted Mercedes to select him as a driver in the following season. reserve, which theoretically makes it a flu case far from replacing Lewis Hamilton or Valtteri Bottas in a Formula 1 race.

Mercedes didn’t need to call on Russell, but he continued to impress, winning seven of 24 F2 races and the series crown. This earned Russell his first contract in Formula 1, a multi-year contract with the Williams team. Considering the warm relationship between the two teams, the assignment amounted to Russell’s audition with Mercedes.

He didn’t make the top 10 in any of the 21 races as a rookie, meaning he didn’t score a point, but the taste of F1 left Russell begging for more. He wanted Bottas’ ride.

“After the first year I would have felt ready,” Russell said, according to 365 races news. “I’m a better driver today than then.

“Two years (at Williams) would have been perfect. This year I would have been more than ready to evolve.

He was wrong on both points. But give Russell points for Confidence and Determination.

Three years with Williams prepared him for Mercedes in 2022

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The Williams team is a quasi-entity in Formula 1, which means the three top 10 finishes that George Russell scored (plus the bizarre Belgian GP points out of the race) last season have been called a minor miracle. .

He is expected to take advantage of Mercedes’ superior strengths and finish in the top five in 2022 points. Truth be told, Mercedes desperately needs him to finish third or maybe fourth to hang on to the championship. of the builders, which determines the distribution of the prize money. Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas barely postponed Red Bull Racing to 2021 for the eighth consecutive Mercedes title.

Russell has already seized an opportunity with Mercedes. He replaced Hamilton at the 2020 Sakhir Grand Prix, qualified second and took the lead early in the race. His crew’s botched pit stop and a flat tire then left Russell in ninth place on the day, but Mercedes admitted he had chosen wisely.

Now it’s up to Russell to show everyone that the third season of Formula 1 seasoning is done.

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