After a long soap opera that lasted until this summer, the 2022 world championship will finally see the passage of George Russell at the wheel of the Mercedes materialize. The current and talented Williams driver – already author of a podium in the controversial Belgian GP – will in fact take over from Valtteri Bottas for next season, alongside fellow countryman and seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton.
Regardless of what the future holds, Russell’s promotion to Mercedes is the direct consequence of a long journey undertaken by the 23-year-old from King’s Lynn since childhood. An adventure that the British himself told in a long and exciting interview with Bild.de, always lived in the name of sacrifice and attention to detail: “My father was often at work early in the morning and came home late – commented Russell – but as soon as he came back on Friday night, we jumped in the car to go karting. My mother always came with me. He had a notebook where he wrote down all our configurations: times, tire pressure, engine, etc. ”.
A first approach to racing which, like many other children, has opened the doors of dreams of a future in Formula 1. A daydream that did not last long, however, set aside to give way to objectivity and the need to work and train for to be able to achieve this goal: “When I was a child I believed I could accomplish anything, including flying to the moon – he said – but when I was about 15, I realized that life wasn’t that easy and that it would be incredibly difficult to get into Formula 1. There are only 20 drivers, and the fatto have understood it immediately has helped me a lot “.
Perseverance, precision and professionalism: elements that can still be seen today in his personality and in his activity as a driver, which were also indispensable on a winter evening in 2014. In that year, in fact, Russell tried to introduce himself to the team principal of Mercedes Toto Wolff to try to enter the Academy of the German house, doing so through a PowerPoint presentation: “I sent him an email in December 2014 late in the evening – he recalled – forwarding him my CV and writing to him that I would have liked to meet him. The worst thing that could have happened is that he didn’t answer me. But only 15 minutes later he replied: ‘Let’s make an appointment’“.
A style and an attitude that, subsequently, allowed him to debut in Formula 1 in 2019 at the wheel of Williams, all following an interview with the team principal of the time, Claire Williams: “I went to the hospitality area and asked for a meeting with Claire – He admitted – this mentality helped me a lot. My parents have always said that you have to work hard to make your dreams come true. From life we only receive what we give. In Formula 1 you must always give 120%, otherwise you have no chance of getting there ”.
An approach that, today, has allowed him to sign one of the most prestigious contracts available in Formula 1: “I still have this attitude. Signing the contract with Mercedes was one of the greatest moments of my life, but it’s only one step. The really hard work is yet to come. Driving for a team like Mercedes and alongside Lewis Hamilton makes me thrilled. If I thought it was all easy, I’d be crazy. I’m just at the beginning – he concluded – and it will be the biggest challenge I have ever faced. It took to get here, and entering Formula 1 is not synonymous with a milestone: my goal is to become world champion“.