HomeSportsFormula 1George Russell enjoys ‘eye-opening’ first trip to Mercedes after F1 switch

George Russell enjoys ‘eye-opening’ first trip to Mercedes after F1 switch

George Russell has described his visit to the Mercedes Formula 1 factory as an “eye-opening” experience as he prepares for his first season with the team.

The British driver has joined the German manufacturers from Williams, replacing Valtteri Bottas.

With three weeks to go until the first round of testing in Barcelona, Russell has visited Mercedes’ F1 manufacturing hub at Brixworth in Northamptonshire, along with the outfit’s headquarters in Brackley.

And the 23-year-old was glad to see the inner workings of the team that has helped Mercedes to eight consecutive Constructors’ Championships.

“Thank you everyone for the warm welcome,” Russell told staff in a video released by the team.

“It’s my first time here at Brixworth so it’s been pretty special to see what goes on behind the scenes which I think quite often you don’t appreciate what goes into creating this incredible machine.

“When you arrive at the track, you see the end product but you don’t necessarily see all the hard work that goes into making it.

“So this was eye-opening for me.”

Russell finished 15th in the 2021 standings with 16 points, though did appear on an F1 podium for the first time after crossing the line second at the Belgian Grand Prix in August.

He has driven a Mercedes on a race weekend before, filling in for an isolating Lewis Hamilton at the Sakhir Grand Prix in 2020 after a positive Covid test.

Russell will in all likelihood make his debut proper on the Bahrain circuit in March, with Middle Eastern archipelago due to host the season opener.

There remains a degree of doubt over whether Hamilton will be alongside him, with the 37-year-old yet to confirm his return having been left “disillusioned” by the controversial end to the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix and 2021 season, and awaiting the FIA’s report on events in the United Arab Emirates.

However a post on Chinese social media site Weibo showing the pair in Mercedes colours alongside one another hinted that the seven-time world champion will line up with Russell in Bahrain.

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