Charles Leclerc, Ferrari, Hungaroring, 2019

Russell: Leclerc and Kvyat show top teams should give youth a chance

2019 F1 season

Posted on

| Written by and

George Russell says two of his rivals have shown why Formula 1 teams should be more prepared to take chances on youth.

The Williams driver is part of Mercedes’ young driver programme. Team principal Toto Wolff has indicated the team are only considering current driver Valtteri Bottas and reserve Esteban Ocon for the seat alongside Lewis Hamilton in the 2020 F1 season.

Russell said Charles Leclerc and Daniil Kvyat were examples of drivers who excelled when they were promoted to top teams after just one season in Formula 1.

“Kvyat beat [Daniel] Ricciardo in his first year with Red Bull,” Russell pointed out. “Charles is giving Vettel a run for his money in his first year [at Ferrari].

“I obviously really and truly believe in myself. If I ever were to get the opportunity I’m not going to think, it would be stupid to think I could go in there and beat Lewis at the first race in my opinion he’s the best driver on the grid.

“But I feel like the potential’s there. You always learn with every single race, every single year with the experience. So if the opportunity were to come I feel absolutely confident I could take it with both hands and quickly learn as much as possible and be there ready to really deliver after a couple of races.

Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free

With no move to Mercedes likely next year, Russell says he is concentrating fully on his role at Williams.

“Any driver would love the opportunity to drive a championship-winning car. that would be absolutely stupid to go against that. I think right here, right now, I am fully focused on the job and I’ll leave the political stuff to Mercedes and Williams to discuss.

“Right now I’m just focused on my job here at Williams. If I want to be in a championship-winning car all I have to do is focus on the job at hand.”

Mercedes has helped this by ensuring he avoids contract-related distractions, Russell added. “I know previous drivers and their previous experiences have been contract negotiations during race weekends, just because qualifying talking about contracts and what have you.

“In Mercedes I’ve got a great management company, their job is to make my life as easy as possible to give me the chance to focus on the job.”

Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free

2019 F1 season

Browse all 2019 F1 season articles

Author information

Dieter Rencken
Dieter Rencken has held full FIA Formula 1 media accreditation since 2000, during which period he has reported from over 300 grands prix, plus...
Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

Got a potential story, tip or enquiry? Find out more about RaceFans and contact us here.

Posted on Categories 2019 F1 season articles, F1 newsTags , , ,

Promoted content from around the web | Become a RaceFans Supporter to hide this ad and others

  • 12 comments on “Russell: Leclerc and Kvyat show top teams should give youth a chance”

    1. The latter isn’t as great of an example, though.

      1. Donno about that… though Dan had one issue (DNF) more Kvyat jumped right over in the standing, that’s how we like F1 to be…competitive. Kvyat though, really had a though time mentally… it pretty much showed in post race interviews… and I truly felt for this nice and honest young guy. Like Max, who was utter succesful at a very young age is one example, Kvyat was on the other end, mentally not up for the task…. there”s also the mid way ofcourse.

        Most young drivers could compete with the veterans easily to my opinion…. Bottas may be a safe choice for Mercedes, but I wouldn’t rule out Russell would even be capable doing a better job… He surely would bring back that exciting spark to Mercedes… who have become quite a dull team…. we know Bottas is far off, P5 last season should have been unacceptable already… but for Mercedes it’s enough to take both titles.

        Drivers like Perez, Hulkenberg, Kubica, Grosjean, Raikkonen all are veterans in F1… though what do they actually add..?

        1. Jonathan Parkin
          23rd August 2019, 10:02

          I still believe the only reason Kyvat was dumped to Toro Rosso was because he crashed into Vettel at the Russian GP.

          1. The only reason he was dumped was to give room to Max. That crash just gave them the excuse to do it. Even so, people like Jenson Button called the move unfair and bs.

            1. True. Courtesy the only ‘talent scout’ that Jos did for RB. No idea when they actually gave him that job (and terminated mid last year) but what he did in that capacity is showing up now with no young driver left to promote after Max.

            2. @bulsie

              In football it is not uncommon for a club to give a job to a parent of a talented player, to ensure that the player has their parent nearby for support. In the case of Jos, there might have been another reason to give him a job…so they had leverage over him in case he created too much drama.

      2. @jerejj Not a great example for a top team, but Russell isn’t in one.

        Kyvat did just fine in the midfield, before the premature promotion.

    2. I don’t know if it’s just me or is Russell starting to get a little bit anxious about his future at the top level. Of course he is fully committed to drive Williams as fast as he possibly can as any F1 driver should be. But hearing couple of these kind of comments that youngsters time is just around the corner does seem like he wants to show more what FW42 is capable of?

    3. Williams has a Mercedes engine bolted at the back, let’s not forget that.

      As things progress for Williams, and they find the one glitch that’s holding them 2 seconds back, they will be in the mix.

      Looks like they have found something already, like “the right direction” to go and the car improved a bit.

      Now all It takes is a winter to get them to fight for points next year.

      Maybe Russell will have the chance to show more next year.

    4. Renault, RBR, Sauber, McLaren all have been giving chances to young drivers unlike Ferrari who famously is a old team. Leclerc might have been exception when he got his chance with the team that almost never gave drive to young drivers.

      1. But it took a season of missing out on the title with two incapable veterans to finally give it a go.

    5. Kvyat beat ricciardo in their first season😂 thats what you get when you look at stats, like JB beating Ham over the course of 3 seasons. Bad stats.

    Comments are closed.