Martin Brundle is of the opinion that George Russell stands a good chance of excelling as the lead driver at Mercedes following Lewis Hamilton’s departure.
The upcoming 2024 season marks the final year for the seven-time world champion with the Silver Arrows. After a stint of 11 years, Hamilton is set to exit the team and will be moving to Ferrari for the 2025 season, a development that has sent shockwaves through the Formula 1 community.
This marks the conclusion of a remarkable chapter for both Hamilton and Mercedes. Despite a lack of significant victories in the recent two years, Mercedes secured eight constructors’ championships with Hamilton at the forefront, and the British driver achieved six of his seven world championship titles with the team.
Additionally, it signals the end of a standout partnership between British drivers at Mercedes. By the year’s close, Russell will have completed three entire seasons racing with Hamilton, gaining invaluable experience and insights from the 39-year-old veteran.
Furthermore, Brundle is of the view that Russell has impressively matched up to his vastly more seasoned teammate. Although Hamilton surpassed him by 65 points in the previous year, Russell was the one who amassed the majority of Mercedes’ points during their initial season as teammates.
With Hamilton’s impending departure, the Sky Sports commentator is convinced that Russell is eagerly anticipating the opportunity to step up as the team’s leading figure.
Brundle told SkySportsF1: “He’ll be thinking, ‘That’s good – I am the top man here unquestionably now’. George is ready to pick up the mantle at Mercedes-Benz, there’s no doubt about that at all. And he’s measured himself against statistically and arguably the greatest Formula 1 driver of all time – that’s a debate we can have all afternoon, back to Fangio and Moss.
“But George has measured himself against Lewis and been incredibly strong, very equal. If Mercedes have got a championship-winning car this year, who would win? Would it be George or Lewis? I think it would be really close. That’s the level that George is at now.”