Russell wants F1 wins, championships but Mercedes coy over future

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George Russell has reaffirmed his goal of wins and championships in Formula 1 in the future.

The Williams driver arrived on the grid last year fresh from repeating Charles Leclerc's path of winning the F3 and F2 titles at the first attempt.

However, with the Grove-based squad languishing at the back of the grid, Russell is yet to score a point in 35 races.

“We are realistic,” the 22-year-old said via GPFans. “We’ve come from so far behind.

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“I’ve actually been pleasantly surprised with the progress we have made and how we are so much in the fight with Alfa [Romeo] and Haas, and hopefully moving forward next year even closer into the midfield and potentially even battling into the midfield.

“I think it’s difficult as a race driver to put a specific position as a target.”

Longer-term, however, Russell's ambitions remain unchanged.

“My goal is just to keep performing at my absolute best, keep improving, and I want to be the best,” he said.

“I want to be fighting for championships and wins in the future and I know I need to keep improving if I want to be doing that.”

Highlighting Russell's performance, he is still unbeaten in qualifying versus his teammate in F1, but instead, his recent crash behind the Safety Car at Imola is what he's most known for.

“It was such an amateur mistake that I almost just could not believe it just happened," he said after he was seen disconsolate at the side of the track. "It was just pure frustration and annoyance at the error I just made.”

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff, who manages Russell, noted how that reaction is actually a positive for the future.

“He has one of those personality traits that he’s brutal in assessing himself,” said the Austrian.

“I think this is what the great ones have shown, that they are able to go with that.”

Eventually, George is expected to make the jump to Mercedes but will that be in 2022?

“Well, it all depends on how next season goes," Wolff said.

“Also in our team, our loyalty is highest for the guys in the car because we owe it to them to give them every opportunity.

“But then obviously George is pretty highly rated for the future.”