George Russell has said it would be a “win-win scenario” going up against Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes because he would have “nothing to lose”.
The latest wave of Russell to Mercedes rumours has produced some suggestion that confirmation will come as early as the British Grand Prix next weekend in what will be Russell’s home race.
But while some may doubt that Russell is still not ready to make such a huge leap up the Formula 1 grid, he is not viewing it as a daunting prospect in the slightest – even with a seven-time World Champion on the other side of the garage.
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“Everyone wants to go up against the best driver,” Russell said in an interview with AutoCar.
“Everyone believes in themselves, but for me, I’d love that challenge because the pressure would be off and I’d find myself in a win-win scenario.
“I’d go in with that mentality if I ever found myself up against one of the best drivers of all time. You have got nothing to lose – which I think is great really.
“That is the sort of situation that Sergio Perez finds himself in at the moment.
“He’s got no pressure because he’s got nothing to lose – and so you go out there and enjoy it, and show them what you can do.”
Russell said he is “definitely” ready to make the step up, and giving him further encouragement that the time is now is his stand-in appearance for Hamilton when he was ruled out of the Sakhir Grand Prix due to testing positive for Covid-19.
“I believe in myself and I feel ready to fight for victories and World Championships,” he continued.
“I had the massive challenge in Bahrain last year, being thrown in at the deep end with no preparation and no laps in the car.
“I think it has been proven how difficult it is to jump between cars and get up to speed.
“I felt far from up to speed for that race but we still managed to do a pretty decent job so I think I feel ready. Obviously.”
While Hamilton has committed his future to Mercedes for the next two seasons, Valtteri Bottas is being linked with a move back to Williams if he is replaced by Russell.