George Russell reveals secret unsolicited email he sent to Toto Wolff

George Russell signed for Mercedes ahead of the 2022 season, following three years languishing at the back of the grid with Williams.

Nothing is a given in Formula 1, with some of the most talented drivers having to wait for their chance, while other drivers who bring in sponsorship money continue to be favoured.

An example of this would be Nyck de Vries, who despite winning the F2 championship all the way back in 2019, has had to wait until 2023 for his first race seat in F1.

George Russell has now opened up on his email exchange with Toto Wolff when he was 16 years old, following his title winning Formula 4 season.

“I thought at the age of 16 the world would come to me,” said the Mercedes driver.

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“It was only during the year I realised ‘they’re not looking for me, you’ve got to go and look for them’, you’ve got to knock on their door. Toto’s not going to look at British Formula 4 and say ‘there’s a kid here who’s won the championship by a couple of points we need to sign him.’

“But if I put myself in front of him and talk to him and show what I’m made of, maybe there’s an opportunity. So I remember I was in Abu Dhabi at the time doing a test in Formula 3 and managed to get hold of his email and thought I’ve got nothing to lose.”

Wolff has recently admitted that the regrets keeping Russell with Williams for so long, believing that three years was one too many for the development of his young driver.

Russell has now revealed that the Mercedes boss was quick to reply to his email, which led to the start of a long and successful relationship between the pair.

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“Worst case he doesn’t reply, in which case I’ve lost nothing. Best case he replies. I literally just sent him an email I didn’t want to go in too hard. I just said I’m George Russell, I race this. It’d be great to meet you and talk about the future potentially,” he explained.

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“I sent this email I think I was like 9pm in the evening, he replied within 15 minutes with his PA copied in. They said ‘Hi George, nice to hear from you, it would be great to meet you in January’. Four weeks later I was sat in his office.”

The plan was always for Russell to make the step up from Williams to Mercedes in the future, however not even Wolff would have predicted that his young prodigy would outscore Lewis Hamilton in his first season with the team.

Despite being the new kid on the block at Mercedes, Russell will be looking to mount a title charge of his own in 2023, battling with the likes of Hamilton and Max Verstappen on a regular basis.