2022 Sao Paulo Grand Prix, Sunday - LAT Images

Is George Russell F1 world champion material?

Is George Russell F1 world champion material? 2022 Sao Paulo Grand Prix, Sunday - LAT Images

Mercedes driver George Russell addressed ‘potential Formula 1 World Champion’ talk made by rivals Max Verstappen and Lando Norris, the Englishman teammate to Lewis Hamilton, a seven-time Champ.

Red Bull driver and the current Formula 1 world champion Max Verstappen is full of praise for Mercedes driver George Russell, claiming that the 25-year old British driver will potentially be a F1 champion in the future. Russell, although being appreciative of the comments made on him by the Dutchman, believes that there are a “handful of drivers on the grid right now” who are also equally capable.

Making his debut in 2019, George Russel has been a strong performer in the racetrack. The emerging Brit joined Mercedes AMG Petronas last season, and since then, he has been going toe-to-toe with the Brackley based team’s other driver, seven-time Formula 1 champion Lewis Hamilton.

After losing the title to Max Verstappen in 2021, Mercedes are in the racetrack to secure the Championship back again. Their chances are slim, however, which is mainly due to the W14, Mercedes’ “faulty” F1 car. Due to the car’s struggling performances, Russell managed to score only 18 points so far in this season.

Russell secured his maiden victory at Sao Paulo last year, but finished the season in fourth place. And despite the scores, rivals Max Verstappen and Lando Norris believe that the 25-year old will one day be the F1 world champion.

Verstappen and Norris were nothing but full of praise for Russell

Max Verstappen, remains a decent betting underdog on 2023 F1 winner odds, is well convinced that George Russell has all the necessary skills to become a Formula 1 world champion in the near future.

In an interview with the Daily Mail, Max said that George is a part of a generation where himself, Lando Norris, and Charles Leclern grew up together. He was referring to the earlier karting days of their respective careers.

“I raced against George a bit in karting, though he’s a year younger. You could see straight away he was good. It came naturally to him – he didn’t need a lot of laps to be quick. He has the potential to be a World Champion.”

George Russell and Max Verstappen were rivals during their earlier days in karting. Max has four more years than Russell in the F1 racetrack, though.

In an interview with TalkSPORT, Lando was requested to give the name of a rival who could potentially be a title-contender. The Mclaren driver immediately mentioned the name of George Russell, stating: “You could say George.”

The young Mercedes driver remains humble in response to Max and Lando’s praise

“Yeah, I mean obviously it’s always nice to hear positive things being spoken about you,”  George Russell replied humbly to all the praise he received, saying that there are plenty other skillful drivers that could be title contenders.

In an interview with the Square Mile, the Brit said: “there’s probably a handful of drivers on the grid right now who are all World Champion worthy, some of which are already World Champions, some of which haven’t won World Championships yet and would definitely win a world championship if they were in the right car at the right time.“If my opportunity is in three, four, five, or even ten years, so be it.”

George Russell’s performances have deteriorated a bit, owing to the nature of the Mercedes W14. The 25-year old believes that he has enough experience under his belt now, and he will be ready to aim for the title when Mercedes get their car correct and ready.