How Russell won over Wolff

How Russell won over Wolff

F1 rookie George Russell has all the qualities to shine in Grand Prix racing and will become a big star in the future, says Mercedes boss Toto Wolff.

The British driver is debuting in Formula 1 this year after successively winning the GP3 Series in 2017 and F2 championship in 2018.

Many F1 pundits believe Russell is the ‘real deal’ and this belief got him a race seat at Williams for 2019 season. The youngster made a great first impression on Wolff and it probably will pay off in the future.

Speaking with Formula1.com, Wolff recalled his first encounter with Russell. He said: “My first encounter with George was when he was 15 or 16 years old, and he asked me for a meeting,” 

“I really enjoy meeting those young kids full of dreams. He came in a black suit and a tie with a notebook, and he said ‘I’ve just won – I think it was the F4 title in British F4 – and I’m considering doing F3.

‘My feeling is that I should be staying with a British team because I’m very young and I understand Carlin, and would that close the Mercedes door for me if I’m not on a Mercedes engine in F3 in my first year?’

The Austrian was impressed by the youngster’s forward-thinking nature.

“It was such a reflective question from a 15-year-old or 16-year-old, it was really amazing,” said the Austrian

“So he has the brain, he has the empathy, the social skills and the driving.

“I can only repeat what Sebastien Philippe [Russell’s boss at ART, his F2 team] told me. He said he’s one of the best we’ve ever had within our team.

“I think we might have another young British boy here that can become a star in the future.”

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