George Russell admits he was ‘jealous’ of failed Red Bull driver

George Russell had an impressive debut season with Mercedes last year, but he has struggled in 2023.

George Russell has openly admitted that Alex Albon’s promotion to Red Bull after just 12 races in 2019 was “definitely frustrating”, with the Mercedes driver having been “a bit” jealous.

Russell, Albon and Lando Norris all joined for the Formula 1 paddock together in 2019, following a season competing against each other in Formula 2.

It was Russell who actually claimed the F2 crown in 2018, whilst Norris finished second with Albon in third.

Despite winning the F2 title, Russell actually received the worst seat on the F1 grid at the time, with Williams.

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Williams were very much the backmarker side in 2019, but Russell was put there due to his ties with Mercedes, who had a view on promoting him into the Silver Arrows at a later date.

Albon switched to F1 with Toro Rosso, due to being part of the Red Bull junior programme.

Out of the trio, it was Norris who received the best seat initially, as he entered F1 with McLaren.

However, a positive start to life at Toro Rosso saw Albon promoted to the official Red Bull team after just 12 races, with Pierre Gasly having been demoted back to the sister side.

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Albon went onto complete the remainder of the 2019 season for Red Bull, before being given a deal for the 2020 season.

This frustrated Russell who was at the back of the grid and found himself four seconds behind the pole position time on his debut at the 2019 Australian Grand Prix.

Russell remembers having been surprised by Albon’s quick promotion to Red Bull, with him comparing it to “full Randy Orton”.

“Yeah, a bit,” Russell admitted to F1’s official YouTube channel, when asked if he’d ever been jealous of Albon or Norris.

“Especially of this guy [Albon] straight in at Red Bull. Alex just came full Randy Orton out of nowhere like whoa, what is going on here?

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“I remember the first race getting lapped by him three times, qualifying three and a half seconds off pole in Australia.

“It was definitely frustrating.”

Switching to Red Bull ultimately worked against Albon, as he struggled to cope with the pressure of being alongside Max Verstappen, resulting in him losing his seat for 2021 to Sergio Perez.