Formula One

Russell: ‘No pride in finishing fourth, I’m here to win!’


George Russell hasn’t walked away from his first season with Mercedes feeling proud about finishing fourth in the championship as the Briton insists, he’s on the grid to win races and the title.

Russell finished his maiden campaign with Mercedes just off the podium and 35 points ahead of his teammate Lewis Hamilton, having also clinched in Brazil his first career win in F1.

Russell’s performance was saluted by his team who underlined not only the 24-year-old’s results but also the way in which they were achieved in a season undermined by the troubles and complexities of Mercedes’ W13, its first ground effect car.

But the young man from King’s Lynn isn’t heading into F1’s winter break with an inflated sense of self-satisfaction.

“If you’d told me at the start of the year that I’d be finishing ahead of Lewis Hamilton [in the drivers’ standings], I’d have been very happy because nine times out of 10 that probably means you’re going to be world champion,” Russell told BBC Radio Norfolk.

“It’s a little bit frustrating that this year wasn’t that year. We were both fighting for P4, P5, P6 and we don’t want to be in this position, so I’m not going to walk away from this season with huge amounts of pride because I finished fourth in the championship. I’m here to win.


“It takes some time whenever you join a new team, regardless of who your teammate is, to embed yourself and gain that trust and confidence within the whole organisation,” Russell pointed out.

“It’s been a good journey for me, being teammates with him. He’s the greatest of all time so I’m in a very privileged position to go up directly alongside him but also learn from him.

“I’m really excited for 2023. I’m still going to be trying to improve my driving, what I do on and off track, and hopefully we’ve got the car beneath us to fight for the championship.”

While hope isn’t a strategy, Russell is nevertheless confident that the sum of all the learnings from this year’s incredibly challenging season are being put to good use by Mercedes’ engineers as they develop next year’s contender.

He therefore expects to hit the ground running when testing kicks off in two months’ time.

George Russell (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W13. 29.10.2022. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 20, Mexican Grand Prix, Mexico City, Mexico, Qualifying

“They haven’t forgotten how to build a fast race car,” said Russell. “We just got it wrong this year.”

“We got the philosophy wrong. We went down a route which turned out to be the wrong route.

“Sometimes it takes you a long time to dig yourself out of that hole. Now I feel we’ve dug ourselves out of that hole and we’re building on top of that.

“We are a step behind Red Bull and Ferrari and we’ve got a lot of catching up to do – but we’re definitely going to be in a much stronger position from race one next year than we were this year.”


Regardless of what may lie on the horizon for 2023, Russell insists he’s always looking at the big picture and how Mercedes will have been made stronger by the setbacks and challenges it faced in 2022.

“When you join a team like Mercedes you’re expecting victories. I felt ready to fight for race wins and championships this year but you’ve just got to manage your expectations,” he said.

“You’ve got to change those sights slightly and it’s been really intriguing for me this year, seeing how the team deal with this situation.

“I’m here for the long haul and even though I wanted victories and [to be] fighting for that championship in 2022, as a team these struggles are going to set us up for the coming years.

“I hope I look back in 10 years’ time and say the 2022 season was a positive one in the journey.”

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Russell: ‘No pride in finishing fourth, I’m here to win!’

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