After several standout showings in the tricky Williams, George Russell more than assured himself a big future with a grandstand one-off outing for Mercedes... and that's why he soars into our Top 10 here

Following his difficult first season in F1 at the back of the grid with Williams, things improved for George Russell in his sophomore campaign as the former world champions made a step forward, though it was still not enough to haul itself off the bottom of the championship. 

Russell was impressive throughout as he continued to show the sort of performances that persuaded Mercedes to throw their backing behind him in the first place. 

Most notable were his qualifying performances, for which Russell earned the tag of ‘Mr Saturday’ as he maintained his impressive record of never being out-qualified by a teammate while at Williams by demolishing rookie Nicholas Latifi 16-0. 

Russell dragged his Williams - which largely remained the slowest car on the grid despite some encouraging progress - into Q2 on nine occasions throughout the year. Russell may have excelled in qualifying but he wasn’t exactly shabby on Sundays either, turning in a number of strong drives. 

The Briton narrowly missed out on points at Mugello and Imola - though a clumsy crash under the Safety Car at the latter threw away what had been at the time his best chance to end his point-less streak in F1. 

There were few other mistakes across what was ultimately a brilliant 2020, which will most likely be remembered for Russell’s sensational one-race cameo at Mercedes in Bahrain when he deputised for Hamilton.

Russell revelled in the challenge and showed that he is fully capable of delivering at the sharp end of the grid. He proved beyond doubt that he is deserving of a Mercedes drive in the not-too-distant future with his starring debut that nearly ended in a dream victory. 

Russell can take a lot of confidence from another stellar season that might just end up being the making of the highly-rated 22-year-old.