George Russell takes swipe at 'reckless' Red Bull as he explains Mercedes decision

Mercedes’ new signing George Russell has praised his soon-to-be new bosses after giving the 23-year-old the opportunity to step up to the top team alongside Lewis Hamilton, adding he’s pleased they’re not “reckless and ruthless” like rivals Red Bull.

Russell has been alongside Mercedes since 2015, and has since gone on to win the GP3 title in 2017, the F2 title the year after, before being promoted to F1 in 2019 with the British team Williams.

Since then he has impressed in his three years at the Mercedes-powered team in an underperforming car, sending ripples through the paddock when he stepped in for a Covid-stricken Hamilton at the end of last season.

Now he will partner Hamilton next season, replacing Valtteri Bottas at the team in his biggest challenge yet in Formula One.

But by contrast, his friend and former karting team-mate Alex Albon was dropped from Red Bull’s main seat alongside Max Verstappen in just his second year in F1, and despite now being handed a second chance at Williams next season, has spent a year on the sidelines.

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“When I will get there, I don’t know yet, but I think I’m mature enough and old enough now to deal with that, whereas one or two years ago I probably wouldn’t have been.”

Russell will be alongside the seven-time world champion next season as F1 will undergo a huge overhaul as the new 2022 rules and regulations come into play.

And for Russell, he praised Mercedes boss Toto Wolff for entrusting him with the seat and mentoring him throughout the years.