Williams Formula 1 driver George Russell admits he is “a little jealous” of his “mates” who have landed competitive seats, though he remains convinced he will get his chance.

Russell is set to contest his sophomore F1 season in 2020 with Williams, which is looking to recover from being anchored to the back of the grid last year.

Meanwhile his close friends including Alex Albon, Lando Norris and Charles Leclerc have all recently found themselves in front-running machinery at Red Bull, McLaren and Ferrari respectively.

The 2018 Formula 2 champion is backed by Mercedes and likely to be first in line to any future opening at the German manufacturer given he is the team’s highest-placed junior.

Speaking in an interview with Sky F1 on Instagram, Russell said: “We're all youngsters, we all want to have that successful career, and races and victories right here in the moment.

"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."

There was a dramatic turn of events in the driver market this week, as confirmation of Sebastian Vettel’s departure from Ferrari at the end of the season set off a domino effect of moves, with Carlos Sainz announced as his replacement and Renault’s Daniel Ricciardo signing a “multi-year” deal to join McLaren in 2021.

Russell, who suggested he was aware of the developments in advance, believes the changes make sense as teams look to the future by hiring young talent.

"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.”

And Russell reckons Ricciardo’s arrival at McLaren as a seven-time grand prix winner can only be a positive thing for Norris, who he has tipped will “relish that challenge”.

“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.”

 

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