We all knew it was only a matter of time. It was never a question of ‘if’, but a question of ‘when’. And if you were to ask Australia’s own Formula 1 legend Mark Webber, the question of when Williams Racing driver George Russell will finally join Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes would certainly be answered by 2022.
“Going up against Lewis will be extremely challenging,” Mark Webber continued as he spoke to the Nines Wide world of sports.
“But George has almost 50 races under his belt now, so he’s ready for it. Lewis went right in front of the grid when he started, which just shows you Lewis’ caliber. Only the very special drivers can do that. 99% of guys need some running to get used to the idea of running in front. ”
“George is ready for it, but it’s another thing to qualify well for sub-par machines and do well when there’s a little pressure on you.”
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George Russell had what was perhaps the biggest audition for Mercedes possible (though not perfect, as we will soon talk about). Aside from constantly milking every single race from a car that is antonymous to competitive, the new motorsport talent Lewis Hamilton replaced at the Sakhir Grand Prix 2020 in a huge way. Lacking missing pole position during qualifying to start in second place, Russell was only 20 laps away from earning his maiden F1 victory … until a severe pit stop error cost him W and eventually referred him to P9.
The stars may not have been in line with the particular occasion, but they apparently have this time. As George Russell’s three-year contract with Williams is coming to an end, Valtteri Bottas finds his head on the chopping block due to what has uniformly been considered a boring season so far. While his teammate is currently locked in one relatively close title fight with Red Bulls Max Verstappen, Bottas sits in 5th place in the F1 championship – behind McLaren’s significantly less experienced Lando Norris with 92 points, five podium finishes and zero wins (in one of the grid’s fastest set of wheels, nothing less).
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In the unlikely event, Mercedes decides to give Valtteri Bottas another shot, but Russell may still be offered a killer upgrade. Dr Helmut Marko of Red Bull has first stated that he would be more than happy to welcome the young Briton on board. Although he doubts he will even get the chance to recruit Georgie boy.
“Russell is definitely worth considering with the performances he is now showing at Williams,” Marko explains Motorsport-Total.
“The only thing is that it’s so utopian, because if Mercedes let him go, it would be such a fake passport that I honestly can not imagine it … If I am informed correctly, then [the question of making him an offer] is not relevant. ”
Given the claims of both Mark Webber and Dr Helmut Marko, it certainly bodes well for George Russell, his future in Formula 1, and soon enough, the Mercedes team’s chances of advancing its dynastic race of net dominance. So far, all we can do, however, is sit and wait for the official announcement – maybe in Silverstone this coming weekend, so many assume.