George Russell is playing his fourth season in Formula 1, and his first with Mercedes F1. After three years at Williams, he made it to a senior team, but last year he announced his readiness to join Mercedes, and he did not find his third season at Williams useful.
However, it represented real progress, and he did not deny that it allowed him to accumulate additional experience. However, he still believed he was already ready last year.
“My third year with Williams has seen performance progress, and as a pilot, we are constantly progressing” Russell said in an exclusive interview for Nextgen-Auto.com
“This is the case for any professional, whether you are an athlete or otherwise, whatever your profession, you are constantly learning and constantly gaining experience.”
“I felt ready last year, I felt ready this year, I will be more ready next year. I will be a more experienced and complete rider. What is the perfect time? There is no perfect time, but I think I could have learned and done well.”
Williams had good years for Russell
Russell believes he took advantage of the leadership role he had no choice but to take on at Williams, to prepare for his move to Mercedes: “I think I’ve had three years in Formula One before, and being at Williams where we were young drivers, where we had to take that role, where there were no excuses and where it was my duty, helped me develop.”
“I’ll look back and tell myself that the years at Williams were good for my career. It gave me a bigger appetite, I learned, I trained under the radar and now I feel comfortable, confident in myself and the team. I know how I want to handle situations, and maybe since A year, two or three years ago I was a different person.”
But Russell is now a pilot for world champion Octuple team, along with seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton. The Briton admits to getting more support from fans, but only believes that it is the evolution of his career that does it.
“I feel like I have loyal and supportive fans. I noticed that at Silverstone last year and it was a very special feeling for me. Of course it helps me to be higher at the grid, but there is nothing specific about being at Mercedes, or in regards to Lewis.”