Patience is a virtue - George Russell in the pouncing seat for F1 glory

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George Russell
George Russell
Charles Coates

• George Russell could find himself driving for the Mercedes-AMG F1 team in the future.

• Russell is contracted by the Williams team, but is part of Mercedes' driver development program.

• Russell is yet to score a point in Formula 1.

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Just a few weeks ago, the rumour-mill was abuzz with news that the Williams Formula 1 team would be replacing George Russell with Sergio Perez. And as is the case with rumours, a new tail was added to each iteration of the story. Luckily, for Russell, the stories were laid to rest when the team confirmed that they'd be sticking with Russell and Nicholas Latifi as their driver pairing for 2021.

Russell, who's been in F1 since the start of the 2019 season, is yet to score a point but is an absolute beast when it comes to extracting the maximum performance from his race car. Though his best finishing position is several eleventh places, the driver is yet to be outqualified by a team mate. 

Despite him being 'pointless' and driving for the slowest team on the grid, Russell is regarded as one of the drivers in prime position to join the Mercedes-AMG F1 team within the next couple of years.

George's future post-2021

The last week or so, F1 has been in shock over comments made by defending champion, Lewis Hamilton. The Mercedes driver dropped a bomb by saying that he does not know if he'll continue racing beyond 2020, which left many wondering if this is something that will come to fruition. Imagine that: Formula 1 without Lewis Hamilton.

In the improbable event that Hamilton does quit the sport this year, the Mercedes team will have a vacant seat, which could open the door for Russell to make the switch. Given that Russell is on Mercedes' young driver programme and earmarked to join the team sometime in the future, the German giants could enforce their authority over Williams and have Russell join them as early as next year. Williams, then, would have a problem finding a driver to replace the departing Russell, but that is something Mercedes would not be concerned about.

READ: Is George Russell ready for a move to Mercedes and teaming up with Hamilton in 2021?

Hamilton also stated that if he does decide to continue racing, he will not discount the option to do so for only one more year. Could it be that Russell will join the team in 2022, replacing either Hamilton or Valtteri Bottas? Bottas has been on a one-year contract with the team ever since joining them at the start of the 2017 season, and the same applies for next year. If it does happen that either Hamilton or Bottas does not race for the team in 2022 when the new regulations kick in, Russell could finally drive for a championship-winning team.

Worth the wait

Knowing Russell and the abundance of talent he has, he is deserving of a drive in a car capable of winning races. Many believed the Mercedes team would replace Bottas with Russell for the 2020 season - and again for 2021 when Bottas' contract talk came up - but Mercedes opted to retain Bottas in both instances and not call up Russell.

Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff cited Russell needing "more time" before joining the team, but Russell, if we're honest, has been ready for a long time.

READ: George Russell growing frustrated with his struggling Williams F1 team

If - and it's a big 'if' - Russell does join Mercedes as early as 2021, he will insert himself into championship contention. Having to sit on the side and watch his friends and peers - like Lando Norris, Alex Albon, and Charles Leclerc - drive machinery far superior to his own, Russell would find himself at the front of the field and competing for the F1 championship. And that would surely be a solace worth the wait.

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