Russell 'More Than Happy' To Provide Mentorship for Antonelli, But Highlights One Concern

Friday, 14 June 2024 at 14:00
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Young driver Andrea Kimi Antonelli will most likely fill the seat next to George Russell. Although he doubts it will be needed, the 26-year-old is happy to provide mentorship.
George Russell has been with Mercedes ever since the start of the 2022 season. Although it has been a tough year, he managed to win his first race then, and he still continues to prove that he deserves to be part of that team.
His seat for the 2025 season is not in question, but the one next to him still isn't confirmed. At the moment, team principal Toto Wolff's responses suggest that 17-year-old Andrea Kimi Antonelli is most likely to get that seat.
Although Mercedes is running the youngster through an intense preparation program, he is still in F2, and it seems like quite a bold move to put him straight into one of the best teams on the grid during his first season in F1.
During his first season, he might perhaps need some mentorship from a more experienced teammate. Russell was recently asked whether he would be willing to provide that, and he responded:

"I don't necessarily think a driver, an extremely talented driver, would need mentoring by another driver."

"I think you've got to find your own path, you got to make your own mistakes. I'd be more than happy to give advice and help along the way – I feel confident, and I want the best for the team."

While Russell would be more than happy to provide the mentorship, his main concern is that whoever gets the seat next to him should be competitive if Silver Arrows plans to compete for the title.

"I think history has proven, if you want to fight for a championship, you need to have a teammate alongside you who’s pushing you along the way to get more out of yourself to also help when you’re battling at the front."

"You've seen it's difficult in the past when there has been a lone ranger up front battling against two cars – they've got the upper hand strategically."

Russell and Hamilton have been and still are one of the strongest driver pairings on the grid as they continue to push each other, and Russell hopes it will be the same with his future teammate, whoever it may be.

"So I think whoever's going to end up alongside me next year is going to keep me on my toes. I'm excited about that change. I've been kept on my toes for the last three years with Lewis as my teammate, but I think change is exciting."