'This was probably the right time'- George Russell opens up about signing for Mercedes

Mercedes driver George Russell has spoken about his two-year stay with British manufacturers Williams. Russell made his Formula One (F1) debut in 2019, achieving his only podium finish in the 2020 Belgian Grand Prix.

George Russell has spoken on his move to Mercedes

Reflecting on his time with the historic British car manufacturers, Russell revealed that both parties understood that his stay was only temporary as he looked to take Williams back to the pinnacle of the sport. “We all sort of agreed that three years was a good period, fighting for points, maybe for podiums,” Russell said.

In September 2017, Russell, who had already driven in the Mercedes Junior driver programme and even stood in for Sir Lewis Hamilton in the 2020 Bahrain Grand Prix, was announced as Valtteri Bottas’ replacement ahead of the current 2022 season. Despite driving a struggling car, the British driver revealed that the nature of his contract made it difficult for him to leave sooner.

“In hindsight, three years driving on my own at the back of the grid was too long. But, unfortunately, Claire [Williams, former Deputy Team Principal] did quite a good job at the contract negotiations, and there was sort of no way out.” Russell said.

Since joining the Silver Arrows, Russell has become somewhat of a driving sensation in the Mercedes W13. Having recorded three podium finishes and a top-five finish in every race except the British Grand Prix, where he was involved in a ghastly crash with Zhou Guanyu.

Russell admitted that the timing of his move to Mercedes could not have been better, as it has coincided with a rare dip in form by legendary driver Sir lewis Hamilton.

“I think joining Mercedes last year or even in 2020 would've been incredibly tough because going up against Lewis when that car has evolved to suit his style of driving over so many years, that was his baby as such.

“Whereas now it's a fresh sheet of paper for everybody, everybody is starting from scratch, and this was probably the right time,” Russell said.

George Russell currently sits fifth on the drivers' rankings and would hope to continue his form when F1 returns with the French GP on July 24.

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