George Russell insists he is ready to grab the opportunity to drive for Mercedes “with both hands” but doesn’t believe that is currently an option as he is currently contracted with Williams for two more seasons after 2019.
A former Mercedes junior driver, Russell has been tipped to eventually drive for the Silver Arrows whether it be as early as next season or in the future. Claire Williams has shot down speculation he could move in 2020 and Mercedes boss Toto Wolff agreed, but should the option be there, the Brit is going to take it.
"I obviously really and truly believe in myself. If I ever were to get an opportunity, it would be stupid to think I can go in there and beat Lewis [Hamilton] at the first race,” Russell told Motorsport.com
"In my opinion he's the best driver on the grid. But I feel like the potential's there, and you always learn with every single race, every single year.
"If the opportunity were to come, I feel absolutely confident I could take it with both hands and quickly learn as much as possible and be there ready to really deliver after a couple of races."
However, Russell is aware it would take a major shift in one factor or another in his career for the move to Mercedes to happen anytime soon.
"The matter of the fact is as Claire said, I signed a three-year contract with Williams," he outlined.
"So, unless anything drastic happened, I see no reason why I wouldn’t be here for the following couple of years."
The 21-year-old is happy with the support he receives from Mercedes, though, and believes the way they treat younger drivers is the correct method to aid their development.
"I know in Mercedes, as long as I’m performing, they will support me and it does relax you as a driver because you can fully focus on the job at hand,” the Williams man added
"If you have one bad weekend, they’re not going to snap at you and ask what the hell went on there.
"They’ll offer support and advice for how not to be in the same situation again. It’s a really great way of doing things."
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