George Russell impressed everyone at the Sakhir Grand Prix last year when he played the role of a super-sub for Lewis Hamilton. Even though he couldn't win the race because of an uncharacteristic pit stop mistake by Mercedes, the Brit still showed enough to prove that he's ready for a promotion in his career.
In the eyes of many Formula 1 pundits, George Russell will be a great asset to the Brackley-based team and could be a potential world champion in the waiting. Alex Albon, the former Red Bull driver, feels the same way.
Speaking about the situation at Mercedes in his GQ column, Alex Albon said the one-year contract would not be a source of friction between the team and Lewis Hamilton. Albon believes the seven-time world champion will still be motivated to take his eighth.
“There has been a lot of talk over the winter about Lewis Hamilton potentially winning his eighth title. People are surprised he’s only signed a one-year deal at Mercedes, but I don’t read too much into contract talk and speculation. He will be highly motivated and Red Bull plans to bring the fight this year, which is going to make it harder, for sure. Only he knows if this will be his last season in F1."
Albon also claimed that he believes Russell could challenge Hamilton in the same machinery:
“It’s my view that if my friend George Russell was to partner Lewis at Mercedes next year he could really challenge him.”
George Russell at Mercedes in 2022?
George Russell in a Silver Arrow is not beyond the realms of imagination. The Brit could find himself driving for Mercedes as soon as 2022. His three-year contract with Williams expires at the end of the year, and Russell has impressed everyone with his speed, racecraft and maturity. It would be almost criminal to let the Brit spend another year driving for a backmarker.
George Russell's biggest claim to the Mercedes seat came at last year's Sakhir Grand Prix. He was better than Valtteri Bottas on the day and capped off his race with a stunning overtake on the Finn. Unless Bottas can improve his performance at Mercedes, the seat could be George Russell's for the taking.