George Russell has said that possessing adaptability is what is going to make him a success at Mercedes this coming season and in the years after that.
Russell has made the switch to the current eight-time Formula 1 world champions for the new campaign, after seeing the move confirmed from Williams in the second half of 2021.
Indeed, it’s a big opportunity for him as the sport enters a new era and he’ll be hoping the Silver Arrows remain one of the outfits to beat in 2022.
A lot is expected of Russell this season with him getting his first sustained chance in what should be a race-winning car, and he has said that being adaptable is going to be what makes him a success, if he can do that:
“I think it’s knowing that a car and driver are two big machines,” said Russell.
“They’ve got to work together as one and you need to exploit the car’s capability.
“As I said, I think that adaptability is what makes a great driver, knowing what the car is capable of and what the car isn’t capable of.
“Just because someone in another car is able to do that, it doesn’t mean that you are able to do that in your car because it might not just be possible and every car is designed in a different way.
“So that’s why I think it’s important not to get too lost and caught up in what others are doing, and the set of philosophies that they’re going down, or whether they’re running high downforce one race and low downforce in another race and that isn’t working for you.
“You need to understand what you can achieve in your car and ultimately optimise that no matter what anyone else is doing.”
Russell has regularly cut a figure of someone more mature than his years and he speaks like a real team leader, which is part of the reason Mercedes have promoted him now.
They see him as the natural successor to Lewis Hamilton once the Briton retires, and it’s clear Russell is very aware of what needs to be done to ensure he extracts the maximum out of the opportunity he has been given.
Clearly, it’s going to be a tough task this year going up against Hamilton and the likes of Max Verstappen but there is no doubting that Russell will feel he can get the job done.