George Russell has only one goal in mind in Formula 1: To become a world champion.
After much deliberation, Toto Wolff finally knew who he would put next to Lewis Hamilton in 2022: George Russell, who will replace Valtteri Bottas departing for Alfa Romeo. It did not happen by itself, the Brit remembers in conversation with BILD.
It all started on his parents’ farm. “My father worked from very early to very late, but when he came home on Friday evenings, we would jump in the car and go karting. My mother would come along and write down all my set-ups, tire pressure, on a notepad. engine tuning, and so on!”
But it didn’t come naturally. And so he finally knocked on the door of Toto Wolff. “When I was 15 I realized that it was not going to be easy to reach Formula 1. There were only 20 drivers. Understanding that early on certainly helped me.”
“I emailed Toto in December 2014. Very late at night. I sent him my resume and told him I’d like to meet him. The worst thing that could have happened was that he wouldn’t send me anything back. Fifteen minutes later however, he already responded: ‘Let’s make a deal’.
Seven years later, Russell knows that he can drive for the great Mercedes in 2022. “Signing the contract was the best moment of my life. It’s just a step, because the hard work is yet to come. It would be foolish to think that it will be easy to drive for Mercedes alongside Lewis Hamilton. the biggest challenge ever for me.”
But even though he knows it’s going to be difficult, his goal is already set. A seven- or by then eight-time champion by his side doesn’t stop him from wanting the maximum. “I know what it took me to get this far, but just reaching Formula 1 is not the end. My goal is to become world champion,” said a determined Russell.