George Russell has put up some solid performances for Mercedes during the first three races of 2022. The British racing driver has consistently finished in the top five during all his races. He is currently ranked second on the F1 2022 Drivers rankings and has a nine points lead over seven-time world champ Lewis Hamilton. The 24-year-old recently managed to get past Hamilton and secure a podium at the Australian Grand Prix. Evidently, the young rookie driver has performed consistently despite Mercedes’ lack of performance with their new W13.
Last week, Mercedes managed to take advantage of retirements from Red Bull’s Verstappen and Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz. Russell and Hamilton secured the third and fourth spots in Melbourne. And this time, the finishes would help them come closer to their rivals in the championship battle. The former British driver, Derek Warwick, feels that the two- Mercedes teammates will have pretty close competition this year. Russell has certainly shown during his debut season that he is one of the most skilled young drivers this season. And Hamilton might have to watch out for the young Brit who could surprise everyone by clinching his first world title.
Derek Warwick Shares His Opinion About Geroge Russell
Hamilton was tied on points with his former teammate Fernando Alonso during his first F1 season in 2007. And Russell seems to be on the same track to leveling up with Hamilton. George Russell has had a brilliant start to the season. But he will still have to watch out for Lewis, who will eventually charge forward to get himself in the lead.
Race Stewart Derek Warwick thinks it is difficult to imagine Russell winning a world championship in his first year. Derek added George has the quality to become a world champ. And you never know who might turn out to be on top towards the end of the championship.
Further, Warwick believes that Geroge Russell would be happy to follow Hamilton and learn from the master himself to become a better driver. Derek also claimed that Russell would get a fair fight this season, and his team would not try to hold him back. The Silver Arrows were reluctant to intervene in the 2016 title battle between Hamilton and his teammate Nico Rosberg.
Further, Derek revealed that the German manufacturer will not back either driver until there is a big gap. However, if a driver is struggling with mechanical issues, Mercedes might decide to give more attention to the other driver, whether it is Russell or Hamilton. Warwick mentioned if Russell gets a fifty points lead over Hamilton with the last three races left in the season. Mercedes will have no choice but to focus on George and assist him in winning the title.
Toto Wolff Would Not Flinch In Throwing Drivers Out Of Their Cars:
Last year, Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff specified that he would not let an intra-team rivalry get out of hand again. Wolff also acknowledged that the competition between teammates would happen regularly. And he had no fears of ordering one of the drivers to miss races. Hamilton will have the opportunity to catch up with George at the upcoming Emilia Romagna Grand Prix on April 24. Hopefully, the W13 will be seen on the track with a boosted performance to compete for pace with Red Bull and Ferrari.