After making his debut with Mercedes at the conclusion of 2020, George Russell stated that he felt ready to step up to a Mercedes seat for 2021.
After filling in for an injured Lewis Hamilton in the 2020 Sakhir Grand Prix, George Russell believes he was ready to move up to Mercedes a year ago for the 2021 season.
Russell took over for Williams for one weekend and was a strong candidate for the overall victory until a late puncture ended his prospects. He returned to Williams and back of the grid anonymity just a week later.
Russell, who had been stuck in the midfield at best in 2021, was finally called up to replace Valtteri Bottas at Mercedes for 2022.
Russell believes he now has the skills to take the next step forward following three seasons with Williams.
“You always learn,” Russell said in an interview with Motorsport-Magazin.com.
“Your natural speed is what it is. It doesn’t get any better,” he added, while noting that there’s been plenty of fine-tuning to his skills.
“How do I get more out of my engineers? How do I fine-tune the car? How do I manage the tyres on a cold day in Brazil?”
“More than ready to step up”
Russell believes he was ready to take the next step with Mercedes in 2021, but he is concerned of the fact that he felt ready after his first year in 2019.
“After year one, I would have felt ready,” Russell said. “I’m a better driver today than I was then.
“Two years [at Williams] would have been perfect. This year I would have been more than ready to move up.”
However, the rules of his contract with Williams, which he signed for three years when he arrived in Formula 1, kept him from becoming an agent for Mercedes.
“We signed for three years,” he said. “There was absolutely nothing we could do about that.”
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