After an impressive three seasons at Williams Racing, George Russell has joined up with the reigning Constructors Champions, Mercedes, for the 2022 season.
He replaces Valterri Bottas, who Toto Wolff described as an “exceptional wingman” for Lewis Hamilton in the five years they partnered with each other.
But Russell will be aiming to be more than a backup to his new teammate and look to showcase some of the incredible performances he had in a Williams car for a number of years.
Behind the wheel of a Mercedes, Red Bull boss Christian Horner believes the 24-year-old will get ‘stuck in’ and backs him to push Hamilton this season.
In an interview with SunSport, Horner said: “George is a really talented guy, he’s very quick and I don’t think he will be a subservient second driver. He will get stuck in.
“It’s great that we have so much talent in the sport with Verstappen, Russell, Lando Norris, Charles Leclerc, Carlos Sainz, and, of course, Hamilton still at the top of his game.”
But Russell has proven his ability in a Mercedes car before in 2020 when he was drafted in for Lewis Hamilton who had to withdraw from the Bahrain GP.
In qualifying, he narrowly missed out to pole position, finishing in second place behind Bottas who qualified an incredible 26 milliseconds ahead of him.
And his race was cruelly affected when, despite leading the race for the majority, he was forced into pitting twice in two laps after the Mercedes mechanics fitted the wrong tires on his car.
Russell went on to finish 9th in the race, claiming the first points of his career in doing so, and was praised by the Mercedes team for his performance despite missing out on the Grand Prix victory.