George Russell pegged to become 'a future World Champion' by Mercedes boss Toto Wolff

Mercedes driver George Russell gestures to the fans after his P3 finish at the 2022 F1 Hungarian GP (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)
Mercedes driver George Russell gestures to the fans after his P3 finish at the 2022 F1 Hungarian GP (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)
A. Ayush Chatterjee

George Russell is 'a future world champion' in the eyes of Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff.

Wolff has backed his young driver and claimed that he would not be driving for the Silver Arrows if he didn't have championship-winning potential. In an interview carried by GPFans, the Austrian said:

“George [Russell] is a champion in the making and he was a champion in all the junior categories – in F3, F2, as a rookie. We would have never put him in a Mercedes if we didn’t believe he can be a future World Champion.”

George Russell has already earned his stripes in the lower formulae, having won karting championships as well as the GP3 series (now F3) world title and the F2 world title. He followed this up by joining Williams in F1 in 2019 before spending three seasons at the back of the grid.

The Briton then made the move to Mercedes at the end of 2021 to take the seat vacated by Valtteri Bottas after the Finn moved to Alfa Romeo.

George Russell has exceeded expectations to be ahead of Lewis Hamilton in 2022, according to Jacques Villeneuve

George Russell has been above Lewis Hamilton this season and has exceeded expectations so far in his first full season at Mercedes, according to former F1 world champion Jacques Villeneuve.

Russell has been the most consistent driver on the F1 grid in 2022 and his results speak for themselves. The Briton has been in the top five in 12 out of 13 races so far. The only time he failed to maintain that record was when he crashed out on the opening lap of the 2022 F1 British GP at Silverstone.

Russell has five podium finishes this year and was also the first Mercedes driver to secure a front row starting position when he took pole during the 2022 F1 Hungarian GP weekend.

In his column for Dutch publication Formule1.NL after this year's race at the Hungaroring, Villeneuve was full of praise for the 24-year-old after his P3 finish. The Canadian wrote:

“[George] Russell exceeded my expectations. I knew he was fast but he is above Lewis Hamilton and has given Mercedes the first pole of the year. But you can see Hamilton responding now as well and I think Mercedes could just end up second among the constructors.”

Hamilton has improved his performances, recording five consecutive podium finishes stretching from Canada to Hungary, and has six in total in comparison to Russell's five. Given the way Mercedes are progressing, it will come as no surprise if both drivers keep adding to their accolades in the nine remaining races this year.

What's your favorite race of the 2022 season so far? Tell us in the comments below..

Edited by Anurag C


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