George Russell confident he is ‘as good as anyone’ ahead of British Grand Prix

George Russell believes he is as good as any driver on the Formula One grid – as the Briton gears up for his home race at Silverstone on Sunday.

On a high from taking advantage of Max Verstappen’s late collision with Lando Norris to claim just the second win of his career, Russell will set about landing his first British Grand Prix podium this weekend.

It was sink or swim for Russell after he traded in Williams to partner seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes in 2022.

But the 26-year-old from King’s Lynn has thrived against his elder compatriot, beating Hamilton in their first season together.

Russell heads to Silverstone with a 9-2 record against Hamilton in qualifying so far this year and a 26-point advantage over him in the championship.

“I believe I am as good as anyone,” said Russell. “And I think I have proven that in my three years (against Hamilton).”

With a greater number of wins and pole positions than any other driver in history, Hamilton is, statistically at least, the grid’s GOAT. So, what does that make Russell?

“That is the big question isn’t it?” he continues with a smile. “The goatee?!

“I definitely take confidence in my performances and the results I’ve managed to achieve in these last three years.

“I knew it was going to be a hard task to go up against Lewis but I always believed in myself. And what better way to prove yourself than going up against a guy who has more than 100 wins?

Lewis Hamilton will join Ferrari next season
Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton will join Ferrari next season (David Davies/PA)

“If these last three years were in a different era, I could be standing here with 20 potential wins to my name, having fought for the championship in all of those years.

“This is Max’s era, but there is no guarantees that will continue. My time will come and I have just got to be ready.”

Russell will have a fresh challenge at Mercedes next year after Hamilton stunned the sporting world when he cut short his extension with the Silver Arrows to jump ship to Ferrari.

Mercedes still hope they will be able to persuade Verstappen to move over from Red Bull to replace Hamilton, but the more probable outcome is the promotion of the team’s protege, Kimi Antonelli.

Hamilton’s decision, coupled with Russell’s dominance at Mercedes this year, has led to suggestions the latter is being afforded favouritism by team principal Toto Wolff.

An email, said to be sent by a disgruntled Mercedes employee to all of the sport’s major players, even claimed Hamilton’s car is being sabotaged.

Mercedes insist the email has not been sent from within, and even reported the matter to the police. But Russell insists it is business as usual.

He continued: “My relationship with Lewis hasn’t changed at all over these couple of years, and, if anything, we’ve grown closer together.

“Lewis is moving to a rival team next year, and with any change like that, at some point the strict confidential stuff about car development has to be internalised, because you don’t want that just being passed over.

“It can also be argued that you can give an artist Picasso’s secrets, or provide the chef with the ingredients, but the chef still has to cook the meal.

“A technical individual has far more knowledge than Lewis and I have in terms of development, and the details of what is making a car competitive.”