George Russell on other drivers beating Max Verstappen

George Russell, Lando Norris and Charles Leclerc have all been floated as potential future champions and rising stars in the sport.

Having joined Mercedes in 2022, George Russell will have undoubtedly had been hoping for a shot at the Drivers’ Championship with the then-reigning Constructors’ Champions. 

However, failing to adapt to the new slate of regulations has seen Mercedes drop from top of the sport to the third strongest team on the grid, off the pace of world champions Red Bull.

Despite a tough season that saw the W13 Mercedes struggle with porpoising, Russell managed to secure his first Grand Prix victory, taking P1 in Sao Paulo and, ultimately, ahead of his teammate Lewis Hamilton.

The 2023 season has continued to prove difficult for Russell, as his chance at a first podium of the year was ended by an engine failure in Australia, forcing him to retire early.

Want to work in Formula 1? Browse the latest F1 job vacancies

Even with Mercedes off the pace, Russell’s name remains in the mix when people discuss potential future world champions, alongside McLaren’s Lando Norris and Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc. 

“Yeah, I mean obviously it’s always nice to hear positive things being spoken about you,” Russell told Square Mile.

“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.  

READ: Lewis Hamilton reveals if he is considering leaving Mercedes at the end of 2023

Article continues below

“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.”