Russell confident: I feel ready to be a champion

After his debut season as Lewis Hamilton’s Mercedes team-mate, George Russell feels ready to challenge for the title, although he admits it is something he has felt ready for for some time.

The Briton ended his debut season with Mercedes in which he took the only victory for the German team at the penultimate race of the 2022 season, the Brazilian Grand Prix.

Russell also finished ahead of team mate Lewis Hamilton in the drivers’ standings, scoring 275 points which earned him 4th place to Hamilton’s 240 and the number 6 position.

After his first year of racing with the constructors’ title record holders in a row, Russell feels even more ready to challenge for the title, although he admits he has been ready for it for some time.

“I feel fully prepared to win the title,” Russell told Sky F1. “I’ve been feeling ready for a few years now.”

“I think this season with Lewis was great for me personally to learn some small details, how to get more out of my car, more out of my team and get everything out of the package when it really matters,” he points out.

The German team’s junior British driver wants to use the winter break to prepare as well as possible for the efforts that the upcoming season, which has a record number of races, will bring.

“I will definitely have a strong winter,” he explains.

“I will work hard with my team. Every person in the Mercedes factory will push to deliver the car: to give us a chance to fight next season.”

The achievements of 2022 were not good enough

With Mercedes struggling to match the pace of Red Bull and Ferrari in 2022, it seems the team is ready to make changes to their car for the upcoming season.

Russell admits that he and Mercedes have achieved some positive things during the year, but that it is “not enough” for the standards set.

“I suppose if you told me at the start of the year [to beat Hamilton] I would be extremely happy because if you beat Lewis Hamilton in a Mercedes, most of the time it means [you’re] world champion,” he assures.

“I would take positive things from the season, but I will not celebrate the 4th place in the championship. I will celebrate the victory in the race in Brazil because it was a great achievement for me and the whole team. But the fact is that we are all here to win and we are here to win the title.”

“So we didn’t do a perfect job this season. We had a relatively clean and smooth season with the car and the package we had.”

“But by the standards that this team has set, some of the standards that I’ve set … it’s not good enough: we have to go on next year and do more,” Russell concluded.