Formula 1: George Russell facing his most critical season at Mercedes

With the 2024 Formua 1 season being Lewis Hamilton’s last with Mercedes, George Russell’s role is set to change, and his progression must be closely monitored.

George Russell, Mercedes, Formula 1
George Russell, Mercedes, Formula 1 / BSR Agency/GettyImages

With Mercedes losing arguably the greatest Formula 1 driver of all-time to Ferrari after the 2024 season, the transition away from Lewis Hamilton being the focal point of the team is inevitable. As a result, it is now George Russell’s time to step into a new role.

For the 26-year-old Briton, he will have all of 2024 to expand his role. If Russell wants to be the face of Mercedes for the foreseeable the future, there are certain things Mercedes will be looking for out of him.

The team already seem to have begun shifting their prioritization, with the social media team appearing to highlight Russell far more since the announcement of Hamilton’s impending departure.

Russell is looking for a strong bounceback season after a rather woeful 2023 campaign. He will look to make the most out of being Hamilton’s teammate for a third season as he aims to experience progression both on and off the track.

What to expect from George Russell

To become the face of Mercedes going forward, Russell will be expected to be more composed and mature. Given that his general input will be valued to a greater extent, it is fair to say that the team will want a more professional presence from him throughout the 2024 season.

Additionally, Russell made his fair share of errors on the track last season. Those avoidable errors cost the team and himself the opportunity to score points and even podium finishes on a number of occasions. His most notable mistake came when he was pushing too hard while chasing Lando Norris for second place on the final lap in Singapore.

It became clear that Russell’s lack of maturity and experience as a driver took over in high-pressure situations. This is something the British driver must be wary of as Mercedes plan for the future.

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Given the fact that Russell’s contract is set to end after the 2025 season, the upcoming year will be very significant as far as his career outlook is concerned. Transitioning to become the leader of Mercedes will be a lot for him to manage. However, if the British driver has a successful 2024 season, he could be rewarded with a big contract extension.