George Russell responds to being tipped for a championship by Max Verstappen and Lando Norris | F1
The Mercedes driver is regularly touted as a future world champion and, despite the struggles of his car in each of the past two seasons, has still emerged with his reputation intact.
With Red Bull’s dominance showing no signs of letting up, Russell has even revealed that he is prepared for his big shot at glory to arrive in the latter part of his own career if necessary.
Asked about being tipped by Max Verstappen and Lando Norris as a future champion, he told Square Mile: “Yeah, I mean obviously it’s always nice to hear positive things being spoken about you, but there’s probably a handful of drivers on the grid right now who are all world champion worthy, some of which are already world champions, some of which haven’t won world championships yet and would definitely win a world championship if they were in the right car at the right time.
“As to what I can do to give myself the best chance, it’s just about continuing to work and keep on pushing, never giving up and ultimately making sure that I’m ready to fight when you’ve got that machine beneath you that’s capable of winning.
“I hope that comes sooner than later, but I believe I’ve got a good 15 years left in me and I’ve got to keep on working on my fitness, keep on working on my race craft, keep on working on how I work with my team to make sure that if my opportunity is tomorrow, I’m ready tomorrow.
“If my opportunity is in three, four, five, or even ten years, so be it.”
Russell is a part of a new, exciting generation including the likes of Norris who battled each other from their karting days through to their current status as F1 drivers.
He explained that evolution: “I think when I was old enough to understand everything, it was absolutely clear to me that Formula 1 was what I wanted to achieve.
“At that age, I thought it was going to be easy. I thought, ‘I’ll go out and win races, and if I win races I’ll be in Formula 1, then I’ll be a world champion’. As simple as that.
“It was probably only when I was 16 or 17 where reality struck me and I recognised winning probably isn’t enough.
“Sometimes you need to go above and beyond, especially when you’re fighting for 20 opportunities in the world out of the hundreds of thousands of kids who start out go karting at a young age, all dreaming of that one opportunity.”