Russell Lauded As 'New Team Leader' By Team Principal After Hamilton's Departure

by Adam OndrikSunday, 04 February 2024 at 06:00
russell george mercedes latimages4
Toto Wolff highlighted how nobody talks about George Russell amid Lewis Hamilton's departure, saying he "couldn't wish for a better new team leader."
Lewis Hamilton took over the headlines in all of the biggest media outlets worldwide over the last two days after announcing his move from Mercedes to Ferrari at the end of the 2024 season.
The 39-year-old leaving his long-term team with which he achieved six of his seven titles to join Prancing Horse is one of the biggest moves in the history of Formula 1.
While the majority of articles in the media focus on Hamilton at the moment, the team principal of Mercedes pointed out George Russell is someone who should be talked about. He said during a live call with the media:

"With all the Lewis discussion, something that has not been talked about is George."

Russell has been preparing to take over the leadership role in Mercedes for quite a few seasons, and former F1 driver Martin Brundle recently asserted he has no doubt the 25-year-old is now ready. Wolff continued:

"George has the potential to be the next lead driver in the team, in the same generation as Lando [Norris] and [Charles] Leclerc and some of the others. I couldn't wish for a better new team leader when Lewis leaves."

What do you think? Does the Briton have what it takes to lead and steer the German team toward success? We will have to wait and see.
That being said, one more thing we have to wait for is who Silver Arrows will choose as their second driver. There are quite a few exciting names going around, but Wolff stated he does not want to rush his decision.

"We have such a solid foundation, such a quick, talented and intelligent guy in the car. We just need to make the right choice for the second driver and that's not something I want to be rushed in to."

Quite a few drivers have their contracts expiring at the end of 2024, and while Leclerc and Norris are both out of the question, there are many alternatives like Alex Albon, Mick Schumacher, Carlos Sainz, or Fernando Alonso.
Some even mention Sebastian Vettel's name. After witnessing Hamilton's move to Ferrari, everything suddenly seems possible. Wolff added:

"I'm really looking forward to taking the right decisions for the team, together with my colleagues, and maybe it's a chance to do something bold."