Mercedes chief makes huge George Russell prediction

George Russell has claimed just one podium in 2023, three fewer than Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton.

Mercedes’ trackside engineering director Andrew Shovlin believes George Russell is destined to become a World Champion, if the Germans give him a car good enough to fight for the title.

The Silver Arrows haven’t built a title-winning car since 2021, a year which saw them defeat Red Bull to the Constructors’ Championship.

Since Russell joined the team in 2022, the Germans have taken a significant step backwards and are no longer title contenders.

Despite this, the British driver did excellently last season to claim the team’s only pole position and victory, two feats he’d previously never achieved in F1.

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2023 has been a very different story though, as the 25-year-old has struggled to adjust to the W14.

He’s being beaten comfortably so far this campaign by team-mate Lewis Hamilton, who sits fourth in the Drivers’ Championship.

Russell has finished on the podium just once this season, whereas Hamilton has claimed four rostrums.

Should Mercedes return with a competitive package in 2024, then perhaps the King’s Lynn-born driver will be back to his very best and become a title contender.

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Shovlin knows that Russell has the ability to become World Champion and is expecting the driver to be responsible for Mercedes future success.

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“He’s a hugely professional driver who’s working very, very hard. And he’s one of those that you’d say no doubt he’ll win a championship at some point, providing we can give him a car that’s fit for that job,” Shovlin said, as reported by the official F1 website.

“And we’re obviously working very hard to achieve that. But he’s very technical. He adapts well to different conditions. All good drivers get better over time, they’re focused on looking for every opportunity to improve.

“And when he got pole here last year it was a surprise for us, because we didn’t have a good Friday. We did make some changes to the car, but he did a fantastic job in qualifying to get that. So, he’s super focused and no doubt that he’ll be part of much success for the team in the future.”