George Russell has insisted he has no regrets over the events of last season despite Mercedes' lack of competitiveness – and he believes it's given him the grounding he needs to fight for the title.
The British driver made the step up to the eight-time consecutive championship-winning team last season but the team slipped backwards, fighting just to remain in the top three teams in the opening stages of the campaign.
The Silver Arrows recovered as the year went on, with Russell able to secure a maiden pole position at the Hungarian Grand Prix and a first F1 win in Brazil.
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But ultimately the dream of battling for the drivers' title was taken away from Russell before the season properly kicked into life and after defeating seven-time champion Lewis Hamilton, he is ready to make his mark.
“I definitely feel ready to fight for world championships," Russell told GPFans.
“I don't look back on any races with regret because ultimately, we did an incredibly good job just to be able to fight for these positions.
“The fact is victory was always a little bit out of sight because we just [didn't] have the performance."
Mercedes won't be 'upset'
“We're not going to sit here and be upset with the performances we had shown with the car we've produced.
“We've got a lot to be proud of, but as a team, we've got a lot that we know we need to improve and this is not the standard we set ourselves.
"[This year] is going to be an exciting season.”
Additional reporting by Ewan Gale