Russell has been a member of the Mercedes driver programme for several years now and they have tracked his progress through the Formulae and at Williams, where he has spent the last three years.
Indeed, during that time with the British team he was unlucky to not be given a car quick enough to challenge at the right end but, even so, still managed to shine and catch the eye with his performances.
Particularly quick on a Saturday, Russell regularly beat teammate Nicholas Latifi over the last couple of years, with him also showing in a one-off race in 2020 at Sakhir what he could do in race-winning equipment, with him very unlucky not to win at the wheel of Lewis Hamilton’s Mercedes.
Indeed, he now gets a more permanent opportunity to use such kit over the next few years at least with the Silver Arrows, providing they obviously get their 2022 approach right with the new technical regulations coming in.
That said, you have to wonder just what Russell might be aiming for this season now he is expected to be at the sharp end and for some of Sky Sports’ F1 pundits, the ceiling for him is particularly high.
“It’s great to see, he’s so full of energy and this is his big moment, isn’t it?” said Anthony Davidson.
“His chance to step into, hopefully for his sake, a car that can run right at the sharp end and with Lewis Hamilton as your yard stick, the best in the business to measure yourself against.
“There’s nothing more that a driver like George wants than to go head to head with Lewis with the same equipment, and this is the time you can really see if you’re good enough.”
“Is George going to be surprised by how good Lewis is? Or is it going to be the other way around?” asked Karun Chandhok meanwhile.
“Russell has to be going for the championship, doesn’t he?” said Ted Kravitz. “If you’re in a Mercedes, you have to be going for the world championship.”
“That’s the other thing Hamilton has to deal with.
“He has to get over the pain of Abu Dhabi, and he needs to be reassured by the FIA that everything is going to be fair. And then he needs to deal with a hotshot new team-mate, and deal with Max Verstappen, who’s going to be high on confidence of course.
“It’s such a big job for Hamilton.”
It’s going to make for great viewing, and time will tell how Russell does in his new team.