George Russell joins Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes
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Toto Wolff believes George Russell will prove to be an immediate threat to Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes. The 23-year-old signed a deal to drive with the Silver Arrows from next year, and after showing his impressive abilities at Williams, the team principal can see him making an immediate impact.
“We have always allowed the duel and the competition between the drivers,” the Austrian told Motorsport-total.com.
“We assume that George will step on the gas and show speed. But at the same time we expect the team to perform well. When things get rough, I have to make sure that I smooth the road.”
Wolff explained that Russell has to “consolidate the proof he can deliver top performances like in Bahrain 2020 on a regular basis to qualify for a championship.
“That could also happen in the first year and would be a luxury problem that we would then have to solve.”
The Williams driver is excited to drive with seven-time world champion Hamilton but has made no secret of his desire to win a title of his own.
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“I feel ready to fight for World Championships and win races,” Russell said during the summer.
“I would have loved to come into Formula 1 and be fighting for victories from my very first race.
“Perhaps I’ll look back in 10 or 15 years and say this experience at the back end of the field has paid dividends for me in the long run.
“Next year I’ll be giving it everything I’ve got.”
Both drivers will be competing in a new race next season, the Miami Grand Prix, taking place in May 2022.
The new meeting will be the first since 1959 to be hosted in Florida.
F1 struck a 10-year deal back in April to stage the Miami Grand Prix from next season onwards, with the race to be held on an exciting new layout at the Hard Rock Stadium complex in Miami Gardens.
Miami will be the 11th location F1 has raced at in the United States since the Championship’s inception in 1950.
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Miami follows Indianapolis, Sebring, Riverside, Watkins Glen, Long Beach, Las Vegas, Detroit, Dallas, Phoenix and Circuit of The Americas in Austin in hosting an F1 race.
The race will be staged on a 5.41km circuit, featuring three corners and as many straights, with the potential for three DRS zones throughout with an estimated maximum speed of 320km per hour.
The race will follow two new ones being held this year, as F1 will travel to Qatar and Saudi Arabia for respective Grand Prix races.
Qatar’s Losail International Circuit will hold its first ever Formula 1 Grand Prix on November 19-21, while the city of Jeddah will host the Saudi Arabia Grand Prix on December 3-5.
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