Although it was announced that George Russell would drive for Williams for another year, the Briton says he feels ready for a Mercedes seat.
It has long been speculated that Russell, a part of Mercedes’ junior drivers’ programme, has been a strong candidate to move to the German team in 2021. However, after it was reported that Mercedes plans on extending Valtteri Bottas’ contract, Williams quickly announced it will retain Russell for another year.
Nevertheless, the Briton feels he is ready for a move to Mercedes.
“I’m absolutely ready,” Russell said.
“I feel ready. I’ve had a year and a bit under my belt, and I would have the remainder of this year. But there’s no hard feelings from Mercedes’ perspective, there’s nothing more they could do.
„Ultimately I have a contract here at Williams. Claire was very firm with her feelings towards everything.
“She wasn’t ready to let me go, so I have to respect that decision and get on with it really and just move forward.”
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Despite persistent speculation about his future, Russell says he is focused on the job at hand.
“Every time I jump in the car I’m out there to do the best job possible, I’m not thinking about any outside factors.
“They will come or [they will] not. The only thing I can control is the job I do on track and that hasn’t changed since day one. I’m just doing my utmost to prove what I can do.”
Still, the Briton would relish the opportunity to measure himself against six-time world champion Lewis Hamilton.
“Absolutely. Lewis is the benchmark and I want to be compared against the best. I think I know where my level is at but until I get tested by the best, I won’t truly know.
“I’m sure there’s bits I can learn from him, so I’d relish that challenge,” concluded Russell.