George Russell believes his Formula 2 performances are putting pressure on Mercedes boss Toto Wolff to find him a seat in Formula 1 next season.
The Mercedes reserve driver is currently leading the F2 standings in his rookie year after taking the GP3 title last year, holding a 12-point advantage over Lando Norris. With the F2 champion not able to stay in the category and Mercedes having shown an ability to promote young talent with Esteban Ocon currently racing for Force India, Russell believes his results are making him tough to ignore.
“I think it’s going well in the sense that what we are doing in F2, it can still be better there’s no doubt but we’re doing, as a team with ART we are doing a really good job,” Russell said.
“I think I am really being able to show everybody what I’m capable of and I think it’s definitely putting pressure on Toto [Wolff] and other teams on the grid to look at me, hopefully, and see they can have a good relationship with this driver,” he said. “And from that side I’m pleased with how the season is going. All I can do is keep on putting pressure on these teams.”
Russell also got extensive F1 seat time this week by carrying out both days of testing in Hungary for Mercedes, setting the fastest time of the test on Wednesday. Despite his headline pace, Russell says other aspects of his driving were equally important in trying to impress.
“I think it’s important to recognize what they need from that part of the test,” he said. “Sometimes they want you to go out and drive as quick as possible, sometimes they need you to be consistent over two or three runs because they need to correlate those three different set-up items. I think they are looking for adaptability between sessions and for a driver to show them what he can do, and that’s what I am trying to show them.
“When they need me to be quick, I can be quick, when hey need me to be consistent I can do a run of 12 laps within half a second or whatever and over and over again. Outside of F2 I think this is something good I can prove to them.”