George Russell has already announced himself to the world as the next big thing in F1. The Williams driver is touted by many to be a future world champion. His drive in Bahrain when he stood in for Lewis Hamilton, where didn’t put a foot wrong throughout the weekend, showcased his immense talent, his ability to handle pressure as well as his maturity.
That story didn’t quite have a happy ending, a botched pit stop and a tire puncture denying him his maiden win. Nevertheless, Russell has shown more than enough to suggest he will be a future Mercedes driver and even possibly the next face of F1.
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Speaking about whom he idolizes and tries to learn from, Russell listed a number of world-class F1 drivers. Unsurprisingly, Lewis Hamilton, for whom George has utmost respect, is also on the list.
Russell said, “I used to look and take the best aspects from each driver. Lewis’ outright speed and what he does on the track, someone like [Fernando] Alonso who gets the most out of every situation, [Juan Pablo] Montoya, who is really aggressive.”
He also name-checked Michael Schumacher, whom he called an obvious “legend.”
George Russell idolizes Jenson Button for his off-track persona
Another driver whom Russell admires is his countryman Jenson Button.
“Even off the tracks everybody loved Jenson [Button] and how he dealt with the media. He was a fan favorite, ” said the 22-year-old.
Russell will get the chance to work with Button all the more closely this year. After all, Jenson was recently appointed as the senior advisor for the Williams F1 team. Learning to handle the media pressure will be crucial for George, especially if he seals the move to the Silver Arrows in 2022.
However, before the 22-year-old gains any stardom, he’ll have to endure another season of hard toil at the back of the grid. After two years with the Grove-based outfit, Russell is yet to score his first points for the team. So, that will be a key stat he’d want to address going into the season.
Other than that, his plan would be to keep doing what he did last season, and put his lackluster car into Q2. If George succeeds in getting points on a regular basis, then he’d be a shoo-in for the Mercedes seat next year and could soon start winning races, and who knows, maybe even championships.