George Russell on new start at Merc: 'It feels like I'm returning home'

play article
Subscribers can listen to this article
George Russell
George Russell

George Russell has admitted it feels like he is "returning home to people who I've known for such a long time" as he prepares to line up alongside new teammate Lewis Hamilton in the 2022 F1 championship.

Russell got a brief taste of what to expect at the Silver Arrows after deputising for Hamilton back in December 2020 at the Sakhir GP following a positive Covid-19 test for the Mercedes driver.

He gave a good account of himself in that race, leading for several laps before a pitstop mix-up saw the Silver Arrows put two of Valtteri Bottas' tyres on his car, prompting Russell to return to the pits for another tyre change one lap later.

Russell was then dealt another blow in the latter stages of the race as a puncture forced him to pit once more, although he still managed to secure a respectable P9.

READ | New year, new team - this F1 driver is the most likely to adapt to his new team fastest

However, the former Williams man is now preparing to race alongside Hamilton after replacing Bottas in the off-season and admits it's an exceptional feeling.

"It's an incredibly special feeling to be an official Mercedes driver, and a bit of a strange feeling at the same time," Russell told

"I spent so much time there in Formula 3 [and] Formula 2 as a junior driver. In a way, it feels like I'm returning home to people who I've known for such a long time.

"[I've been] getting up to speed with how the team operates again, which is something that I've really enjoyed.

READ | George Russell hits out at 'unacceptable' end to Abu Dhabi GP

"Because I spent so much time with the team before joining Williams in Formula 1 as a junior driver, I feel like I know everybody so well already.

"We got straight to business on the important bits and bobs to understand the car, understand the challenges and try to prepare as best as possible for the season ahead.

"Following the conclusion of last year, there's so much motivation and fire from the whole factory to bounce back. That's been incredible for me to see."

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For 14 free days, you can have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed. 
Subscribe to News24
Lockdown For
Brought to you by
Voting Booth
Petrol prices are almost at R30 per litre. What are you doing to help deal with monthly fuel bills?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
I've downgraded my vehicle.
10% - 88 votes
I've joined a lift club.
4% - 34 votes
Nothing I can do. I am struggling with costs.
62% - 552 votes
Working from home is a saving grace.
24% - 214 votes