I mean, he would though wouldn’t he? Williams new-boy George Russell, two months from making his Formula 1 debut in the 2019 Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix on March 17th is part of the Mercedes junior driver programme and is still contracted to Toto Wolff and the Mercedes F1 Team.
So it’s no real surprise that Wolff is bigging up his new protege with the likelihood that he will one day drive one of his cars.
What is beyond question though, is that in the build up to being given his big chance in Formula 1 with Williams, George Russell has done everything you’d expect of a future F1 World Champion.
Formula 2 Champion in 2018, GP3 champion the year before – the two main F1 feeder series that take place on Grand Prix weekend in front of a Grand Prix crowd but more importantly in front of F1 personnel including those responsible for either making or breaking a young drivers’ Formula 1 career.
Prior to that, he’d secured his seat in the truly global GP3 with a win in the British F4 championship.
So while, ahead of his first ever Formula 1 Grand Prix, it might be a little premature to try and determine whether or not a success lies a head of him in future, what we can say for certainty is that the trajectory his career has taken thus far suggests that he is destined for a healthy Formula 1 career.
Having supporters like Toto Wolff can only help him.
“He has the brain, he has the empathy, the social skills and the driving” said Wolff, adding “We might have another young British boy here that can become a star in the future.”
Another big player in George Russell’s future is likely to be Williams’ Paddy Lowe, who said of the youngster:
“George is one of the best prospective talents I think for Formula 1 that’s around at the moment.
“We’ve seen Charles [Leclerc] this year come through from winning Formula 2, and I’m hoping we’ll see a similar star class capability coming from George.”
High praise indeed given that Leclerc now finds himself at Ferrari alongside four times World Champion Sebastian Vettel, having impressed sufficiently in his (to date) single F1 season with Sauber.
Let’s hope in the Williams FW42 the team can give him the springboard to success – ideally without having to move teams in order to achieve it!