“He is very close to Lewis”: Mercedes might have already found the perfect replacement for Hamilton

According to Dave Robson, the head of vehicle performance at Mercedes, George Russell’s performances at Williams just goes to show that he can do really well at the Silver Arrows.

Dave Robson. Source: gpfans.com

For the time being, Russell has shown everyone glimpses of his potential ever since he joined Formula 1 two years ago.

George has consistently performed better than team-mate Nicholas Latifi, who is still fighting to qualify ahead of the Brit.

Sakhir GP showcased the real side of Russell

The Williams’ driver showcased an amazing performance while driving for Mercedes at last year’s Sakhir Grand Prix when Lewis Hamilton was down with Covid-19.

George Russell for Mercedes. Source: thesportsrush.com

Russell missed out on the pole position to Valtteri Bottas but managed to overtake the Finn in the first lap. However, a messed-up pitstop and a slow puncture had the Brit miss out on the podium finish.

It has been estimated that Russell will replace either Hamilton or Bottas at the end of the current season considering all three will be out of contract by then.

Robson, who previously worked at McLaren, thinks that Russell is gearing up to become F1’s upcoming dominant driver.

What did Robson say?

In an interview with Motorsport.com, he mentioned seeing the same spark in the young driver like Lewis Hamilton.

“I think there are definitely some similarities there,” said Robson, who was Jenson Button’s race engineer between 2010 and 2012.

“And they were obvious from the first time I met George and we ran him in the simulator in Grove. Then we went up and ran him around the airfield in a road car.

“Again, there was something. There was something there. I think the talent is there.

“I think he is very close to Lewis and has the potential to get there, for sure.”

Hamilton and Russell are very similar

Robson has seen the rise of Hamilton during his time with McLaren.

Lewis Hamilton and George Russell. Source: essentiallsports.com

“I’ve obviously not worked with him for quite a few years, but it [the spark] is something he’s always had, I think,” added Robson.

“There is just that something about him. That special quality that you can’t really define.

“That was obvious right from when he was just a kid and [McLaren] took him testing at Elvington, going up and down the runway.

“He was bored stiff after 10 minutes. Whereas most kids, when you took them to Elvington, they were just chuffed to bits to be in an F1 car, even though they were just going up and down the runway.

“And he was different right from the beginning. He just has that talent and that tremendous attitude. So, take your hat off to him.

“He’s an annoying customer to have on the other side of the garage, for sure. But yeah, he’s a phenomenal talent,” he concluded.

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