Russell: I’m learning from Hamilton, I can be champion

Mercedes driver George Russell considers himself an extremely ambitious person, but he is aware that he will progress only if he observes and learns from the biggest competitors.

Mercedes had problems during the development of cars for the new era of Formula 1 – before the beginning of the current season, the rules that limit the aerodynamic capabilities of the cars were changed, but the younger of the two Britons had an excellent start to the season. Russell occupies fifth position in the championship with 143 points, 16 more than teammate Lewis Hamilton.

“I started well, but I want to be even better.” I want to compete against exceptional drivers and that’s why I have to constantly give my best and improve. I need to observe Luis, to see if he is better than me in something – there is certainly room for improvement. Statistics help, but every driver can feel within himself whether he needs to improve – racers are not particularly patient. “I believe I can be a champion,” Russell said.

The driver from Kings Lynn spent the first three seasons in the championship with the Williams team, which during that time struggled and often had the slowest car. The Briton waited a long time for the first points, although he consistently drove well. Since the beginning of the season, Mercedes has failed to match Red Bull and Ferrari, but unlike their rivals, the team led by Toto Wolff did not make major mistakes and got the best possible results if the current standings are taken into account.

“Last year I felt ready to fight for wins and titles, but I had a valid contract with Williams. I’m not going to complain about Mercedes not being as fast now because that wouldn’t help us – I can try to take advantage of the opportunity and help the team progress. It’s hard to control the car, all we want is to be as fast as possible. We’re working hard on it and we’ve tried a lot of different things. I believe that we will fight for victories until the end of the season, if our rivals do not make new significant progress.” After the introduction of new rules at the beginning of 2022, the bouncing effect returned to the championship after 40 years – vehicles bounce at high speeds because the thrust force is mainly generated by the flow of air between the vehicle floor and the track surface. The World Automobile Federation has taken the first steps to protect the health and well-being of drivers through soon-to-be-passed regulations, and Russell says drivers are broadly supportive of the initiative.

“The drivers have spoken, the vast majority support the changes. Obviously, some teams are better at dealing with bouncing, but even Charles Leclerc was thrown off the track last weekend. If you watch the video from his car, you can clearly hear the floor hitting the asphalt several times before entering the curve, and you can see how his head is bouncing. The same thing happened to Mick Schumacher during practice, right at turn 11. We don’t need such unnecessary danger, we are already taking risks because we drive as fast as possible,” concluded the Briton.’