Williams rookie George Russell isn’t underestimating his move into the big time, but the young Brit says he is fully ready for the challenges that lie ahead.
The 20-year-old was promoted to a race seat with the British outfit following two very successful years in the junior ranks, having clinched the GP3 title in 2017 before taking top honours this season in F2.
His graduation to Formula 1, albeit with a team that has dramatically under-performed in the past couple of years, is a logical and rewarding step, and one for which Russell feels fully prepared.
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“I’ve come off the back of two amazing years and I’m ready for the challenge,” said the Mercedes protégé.
“Obviously I’m a rookie, I’m not going to go out there and do anything stupid. But I feel like this is my time and I’m ready to do the business.
“It’s a huge step up, not only in the speed aspect, from Formula 2 to Formula 1. There’s so much extra coming with it. You’re in the eyes of millions of viewers.
“I’ve gone from working with 30 team members in Formula 2 to 750 with Williams. There’s much more pressure on the driver’s shoulders than just driving the car.”
Russell has been well groomed for his future endeavor, through his success in motorsport’s feeder series but also thanks to his development role with Mercedes, where his front row seat enabled him to observe and learn from the Silver Arrows outfit and from Lewis Hamilton in particular.
“I’ve been in a very fortunate position in the last two years, being part of Mercedes and having the opportunity to be in the debriefs and the meetings alongside Lewis,” he reveals.
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“It’s very surreal to be honest. The past couple of years, since joining the Mercedes programme, have been a step-by-step process. It almost felt like a natural step to get this opportunity.
“This is everything I’ve dreamed of.”
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