In an interview with Sky Sports F1 on Instagram, Williams Racing driver George Russell admitted he was “a little jealous” of his friends getting competitive seats.
The 22 year old Brit is set to start his second campaign in Formula 1 this year, hoping to improve from being at the back of the grid for the majority of last season.
Unlike Russell, his close friends Charles Leclerc, Lando Norris and Alexander Albon have all found more competitive seats further up the grid with Scuderia Ferrari, McLaren F1 Team, and Aston Martin Red Bull Racing respectively.
Despite not having the quality of car that his friends do, Russell is confident in his abilities and believes he too will get his chance one day.
“We’re all youngsters, we all want to have that successful career, and races and victories right here in the moment.” he said. “Even Nico Rosberg, I don’t know how old he was when he won his first race, how many years he had in F1, but if you’re doing the job and you are performing, we’ll all get our chance.
”That’s all I can do at the moment. Seeing my mates up there in potential championship-winning cars, it’s something I’m a little bit jealous of obviously, because I want to be up there trying to fight as well.
“But nevertheless I know as long as I keep on performing and I keep doing my job to the best of my ability that opportunity will come whether it’s next year, two years, five years, 10 years. It should come.”
Russell is the highest rated junior driver in Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team program, which could put the 2018 FIA Formula 2 champion in line for a shot at the silver arrows if a seat becomes available.
The talk of silly season so far has been Sebastian Vettel’s departure from Ferrari at the end of the 2020 season, triggering a domino effect in the driver market. The Scuderia signed Spaniard Carlos Sainz Jr. to fill the seat of four time world champion Vettel, with Daniel Ricciardo signing a “multi-year deal” at McLaren to partner Norris.
Russell believes that these moves make sense, and that teams starting to look to younger drivers is great business.
“It took me by surprise a little bit to start with, but it all makes sense,” he explained. “The likes of Ferrari, you’ve got to start looking to the future, with Charles and Carlos, that could potentially be their line-up for four, five, six, or seven years to come.
“I think in any organisation that stability is what people need. Two mega good drivers side-by-side, and likewise with Lando and Daniel.
“I think it’s great to be honest. I think mixing things up is great for the fans, it’s great for the media, they love that. It’s obviously great for the young guns of F1, you’ve now got Ferrari, two youngsters, Red Bull, two youngsters, you’ve got Lando there in McLaren.”
Russell also said that he believes that a team-mate like Ricciardo will only do great things for Lando, and push him to become a better driver.
“Daniel going to McLaren is going to be good for Lando, he’s going to relish that challenge,” Russell added. “Having a really strong team mate next to you, I think Lando’s in a bit of a win-win situation there, so it’s great for him. So it’s exciting I think for the future of the sport.
“Daniel still has a number of years in him, and both he and Lando could be at McLaren again for four, five, six years to come. It all makes sense when you think of it from that side of things.”