George Russell braced for steep Mercedes F1 learning curve

New Mercedes Formula 1 signing George Russell says he has "no illusion" about the scale of the challenge he faces alongside Lewis Hamilton next year.

Russell has been given the nod to step up to Mercedes for 2022 after three seasons with the Williams outfit. He will replace Valtteri Bottas, who has driven for the German car manufacturer since 2017.

With Bottas having played his part in a clean sweep of constructors' championships for Mercedes since then, Russell needs no reminding about the contribution that will be expected from him.

Speaking about his Mercedes future, he said: "I'm under no illusions as to the scale of the challenge; it's going to be a steep learning curve.

"Valtteri has set a high bar, consistently delivering week in and week out, scoring wins, pole positions and helping win multiple championship titles.

"My target must be to reward the trust that Toto, the team, and the board have placed in me by ensuring I play my part in continuing that success and I want to do my new teammates proud."

Russell's move to Mercedes also means he will be up against Hamilton, who is widely regarded as one of the best F1 drivers in history.

And while he will not want to play second fiddle to the seven-time champion, Russell said that he sensed a good opportunity to learn a lot.

"One of those new teammates is in my opinion the greatest driver of all time," added Russell.

"I've looked up to Lewis since I was in go-karts and the opportunity to learn from someone who has become a role model both on and off track can only benefit me as a driver, a professional, and a human being."

Read Also:

George Russell, Williams, and Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, congratulate each other in Parc Ferme after Qualifying

George Russell, Williams, and Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, congratulate each other in Parc Ferme after Qualifying

Photo by: Steve Etherington / Motorsport Images

Russell also said that while he was hugely excited about the opportunity to race for Mercedes next year, he felt some sadness about having to leave Williams after three enjoyable seasons.

"It's a special day for me personally and professionally, but also a day of mixed emotions," he said. "I'm excited and humbled to be joining Mercedes next year, which is a huge career step, but it also means I'll be saying goodbye to my teammates and friends at Williams.

"It has been an honour working alongside every member of the team, and an honour to represent the Williams name in F1. Since I joined in 2019, we have worked tirelessly to push each other forward and bring the team back up the grid where it belongs.

"We've battled for every qualifying position, every point, and every tenth of a second. No matter how tough it's been, nobody has ever given up, and that has inspired me every day.

"I've loved every moment in what I'd describe as a true heart and soul racing team, and I'll be pushing harder than ever to make sure we end our story in the best possible way."

shares
comments
Why F1 drivers were allowed to cause Dutch GP pitlane traffic jam
Previous article

Why F1 drivers were allowed to cause Dutch GP pitlane traffic jam

Next article

Ferrari F1 boss Binotto says switch to sustainable fuels “is a big deal”

Ferrari F1 boss Binotto says switch to sustainable fuels “is a big deal”
Load comments
How F1 teams and personnel react in pressurised situations Prime

How F1 teams and personnel react in pressurised situations

OPINION: The pressure is firmly on Red Bull and Mercedes as Formula 1 2021 embarks on its final double-header. How the respective teams deal with that will be a crucial factor in deciding the outcome of the drivers' and constructors' championships, as Motorsport.com's technical consultant and ex-McLaren F1 engineer Tim Wright explains.

How getting sacked from Benetton made Mercedes' Allison Prime

How getting sacked from Benetton made Mercedes' Allison

He’s had a hand in world championship-winning Formula 1 cars for Benetton, Renault and Mercedes, and was also a cog in the Schumacher-Ferrari axis. Having recently ‘moved upstairs’ as Mercedes chief technical officer, James Allison tells Stuart Codling about his career path and why being axed by Benetton was one of the best things that ever happened to him.

Formula 1
Nov 28, 2021
The remarkable qualities that propelled Kubica’s F1 comeback Prime

The remarkable qualities that propelled Kubica’s F1 comeback

It’s easy to look at Robert Kubica’s second Formula 1 career and feel a sense of sadness that he didn’t reach the heights for which he seemed destined. But as Ben Anderson discovered, performance and results are almost meaningless in this context – something more fundamental and incredible happened…

Formula 1
Nov 27, 2021
The humbling changes Ricciardo made to deliver for McLaren Prime

The humbling changes Ricciardo made to deliver for McLaren

From being lapped by his own teammate in Monaco to winning at Monza, it’s been a tumultuous first season at McLaren for Daniel Ricciardo. But, as he tells STUART CODLING, there’s more to the story of his turnaround than having a lovely summer holiday during Formula 1's summer break...

Formula 1
Nov 26, 2021
The potential benefits of losing the F1 constructors' title Prime

The potential benefits of losing the F1 constructors' title

As the battle continues to rage over the F1 2021 drivers' championship, teams up and down the grid are turning their attentions to the prize money attributed to each position in the constructors' standings. But F1's sliding scale rules governing wind tunnel and CFD use will soften the blow for those who miss out on the top places

Formula 1
Nov 25, 2021
The invisible enemy that's made Hamilton's title charge tougher Prime

The invisible enemy that's made Hamilton's title charge tougher

After winning his past few Formula 1 titles as a canter, Lewis Hamilton currently trails Max Verstappen by eight points heading into the final double-header of 2021. Although Red Bull has been his biggest on-track challenge, Hamilton feels that he has just as much to grapple with away from the circuit

Formula 1
Nov 24, 2021
Why F1's inconvenient penalties have to stay Prime

Why F1's inconvenient penalties have to stay

OPINION: Quibbles over the length of time taken by Formula 1's stewards over decisions are entirely valid. But however inconvenient it is, there can be no questioning the importance of having clearly defined rules that everyone understands and can stick to. Recent events have shown that ambiguity could have big consequences

Formula 1
Nov 23, 2021
The mistakes Red Bull cannot afford to repeat in F1 2021's title fight climax Prime

The mistakes Red Bull cannot afford to repeat in F1 2021's title fight climax

OPINION: Red Bull has had Formula 1’s fastest package for most of 2021, but in several of the title run-in events it has wasted the RB16B’s potential. It cannot afford to do so again with Lewis Hamilton motoring back towards Max Verstappen in the drivers’ standings with two rounds remaining

Formula 1
Nov 23, 2021