George Russell says he intends to remain a Mercedes driver for up to 10 years.
After three years at Williams, Russell was finally promoted by the german team this year, replacing Valtteri Bottas, and has impressed so far.
13 races in, he has 12 more points to his name than team-mate Lewis Hamilton and has been more than a match for the seven-time World Champion.
However, while he has driven well, he hasn’t been able to fight for wins as he would have hoped to.
That’s because Mercedes have fallen behind Red Bull and Ferrari in the pecking order, unable to challenge the two frontrunners.
Nevertheless, that hasn’t shaken Russell’s faith in the team, with the Brit saying he joined with the goal of being successful in the long term rather than immediately.
“We were all aware that there was no guarantee of a good car,” he said.
“But I was sure that if a false start happened, this team has the ability to fight back. We’re seeing that now.
“I didn’t come to Mercedes for short-term success. I came for the long term and this is the best place to give me that opportunity.
“I’m looking at a time span of five to ten years.”
Mercedes have at least closed the gap to the front two teams since the start of the season, with Russell claiming pole position last time out in Hungary before finishing the race in P3, a place behind Hamilton.
Many feel that gap will only get smaller after the summer break too with a Technical Directive being introduced that will force Ferrari and Red Bull to alter the underside of their cars.
Russell is optimistic that will indeed be the case, and is confident that he’ll get the chance to fight to win his first F1 race before the end of the season.
“There is potential in this car,” he said.
“The technical directive applicable from Spa should affect the teams that have used flexible floors so I see us getting closer and closer.
“If we continue at this pace, there’s nothing to stop us from fighting for victories. I don’t think we’ll ever have the fastest car, but I think we’ll get our chance.”
Russell currently sits in P4 in the championship, with precious little to choose between himself, Carlos Sainz and Hamilton.