DECEMBER 29, 2022
Top ten drivers of 2022 - #4 George Russell
By Luis Vasconcelos
Mercedes has found in George Russell the man who will be able to take over from Lewis Hamilton once the seven-times World Championship retires, his 2022 campaign vindicating Toto Wolff's decision of putting him in Valtteri Bottas' place. Enjoying a lot of internal support and with his confidence sky high after a great start of the season, Russell drove brilliant for most of the first part of the season and was particularly impressive in wet weather conditions. That extra confidence bit him in Montreal, where he threw away a good grid position by going to slicks too soon, but was massively repaid in Brazil, where in the drizzle he did well enough to put himself in contention for the win, before collecting first the Sprint and then Sunday's race as well.
While seeing Hamilton reborn from the ashes and started to outqualify him in almost every race in the second part of the season took a tool on Russell's morale, he kept his head down, never panicked or made silly mistakes, although in Suzuka and Austin he was, by his own standards, far from where he should have been.
Considering this was his first season with a winning car Russell proved himself worthy of being in that position, held his own quite well against a legend of the sport like Lewis Hamilton is and with that confidence boost spurring him on, he'll start 2023 ready to fight for the title, W14 permitting, of course.