George Russell | My big break
George Russell joins Mercedes as Lewis Hamilton's team-mate in 2022, after an acclaimed three years at Williams. In our latest My big break episode, the 23-year-old reveals how he went from racing as a karting hopeful to signing the contract for F1's top team.
He tells Chris Medland how Alex Albon gave him a leg-up as he was just getting started — a favour repaid when Russell put in a good word for Albon with Williams, and the frustration of being out-paced by team-mate Antonio Giovinazzi during the 2015 Formula 3 season.
Russell explains how he initially turned down a contract from Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff and came close to signing a contract that would have stopped him from ever driving for Mercedes, before joining as a young driver.
Even before his three years at Williams, Russell had to learn how to impress in cars that weren't competing for victory: he talks about how he did it, and that moment in a Mercedes at Bahrain, when any doubts over his pace disappeared.