Russell sees longevity in Sainz & Ricciardo moves, admits some jealousy

Star InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar Inactive

George Russell believes Ferrari and McLaren now have long-term partnerships after signing Carlos Sainz and Daniel Ricciardo respectively this week.

A significant few days in the 2021 driver market was triggered by Sebastian Vettel's exit from the Italian team was announced on Tuesday, with Sainz and Ricciardo then confirming their switches on Thursday.

Giving his view on the driver moves, Russell thinks it was smart business all-round.

“It took me by surprise a little bit to start with, but it all makes sense,” the Williams driver said in an Instagram Live appearance for Sky Sports.

“The likes of Ferrari have got to start looking to the future. With Charles [Leclerc] and Carlos that could potentially be their line-up for five, six, seven years to come.

“And I think in any organisation that stability is what people need and two mega good drivers side by side.

“Likewise with Lando [Norris] and Danny [Ricciardo]. He’s still got a number of years in him and both him and Lando could be at McLaren again for four, five, six years to come as well.

“So I think it all makes sense when you think of it from that side of things and it’s just exciting for the sport.”

Specifically on Ricciardo's McLaren move from Renault, Russell explained why the Australian will be the ideal teammate for his old F2 rival Norris.

“Daniel going to McLaren is going to be good,” said the Briton. “It’s gonna be great for Lando, he’s gonna relish that challenge.

“Having a really strong teammate, I think Lando’s in a bit of a win-win situation there.”

While all this is happening, Russell himself remains stuck at the back of the grid at Williams with no word yet on whether Mercedes, with whom he's linked, will promote him for 2021.

And on that point, the 21-year-old admits a little frustration.

“We’re all youngsters, we all want to have that successful career and races and victories right here in the moment,” he said.

“But if you’re doing the job and you’re performing we’ll all get our chance. That’s all I can do at the moment.

“Seeing my mates up there in potential championship-winning cars is something I’m a little bit jealous of obviously because I want to be out there trying to fight as well.

“Nevertheless I know, as long as I keep performing and I keep doing my job to the best of my ability, that opportunity will come.

“Whether it’s next year, two years, five years, 10 years. It should come.”

Indeed, later Russell teased a possible partnership with Lewis Hamilton as he recalled a tip handed to him by the six-time F1 champion.

“I had a little bit of advice from Lewis about two years ago when I was racing in F2,” he said.

“It was mainly about the tyres, and how to try and get more out of them. I’d say that was a little thing that helped me find that little bit extra, what I was just missing at the start of my F2 career.

“That’s actually pushed forward into F1 as well and has benefitted me as I moved into F1.

“That little piece of information triggered something in my mind and I think a lot about it and how I can get even more out of it.

“I hope I can make him regret giving me that advice one day!”

Also Read: