After three years at Williams, Russell joined Mercedes full-time for the 2022 season, alongside seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton.
Russell’s promotion comes after five years with Mercedes’ Young Driver Program which saw him win GP3 and Formula 2 titles before moving to F1.
MORE: How Russell sees himself in the Mercedes-Hamilton super-team
Speaking in an end-of-season interview that included Autosport, Russell spoke about how the switch to Mercedes combined with the record-breaking 23-race schedule planned for 2022 set him up for his busiest racing year yet.
“I think I’m going to have a great vacation at the start of the year,” said Russell.
“I think it’s important because I think next year will be the most intense year of my life in terms of the racing program, but also off the track and marketing.
“Going from Williams, where I was lucky enough in a way, that we didn’t have to do so much marketing just because of the nature of the position we were in, to Mercedes, where we have tons of sponsors and many commitments that drivers must meet.
“It will also be on the backs of COVID. With all the pilots and all the teams, everything will gain momentum because the partners missed 18 months of activation.
“On the racing side and the off-road side, it’s going to be incredibly intense.
“So January, [I will] take 10 days off, have a great vacation, reset then kick off mid-january to end of january, then put it all on the table and get started.
Russell will join a Mercedes team looking to continue their streak of eight Constructors’ Championship wins under the new technical regulations, which have been revised for this year.
George Russell, Mercedes W10 Mule
Photo By: Steve Etherington / Motorsport Images
The move also marks Russell’s first real opportunity to compete forward the grid in F1, having spent much of his three-year stint at Williams fighting lower in order.
Russell made an appearance for Mercedes at the 2020 Sakhir Grand Prix, replacing Hamilton after the then world champion tested positive for COVID-19.
He qualified second and led most of the race before a late tire confusion and puncture denied him a likely victory.
Russell relished the opportunity to play a role in the development of the new car, as well as working alongside Hamilton, a driver he had long admired.
“I’m really excited to see the new cars and what they offer to everyone,” said Russell.
“It’s really exciting, but I’m also looking forward to being a part of developing a car that will progress dramatically throughout a season, working with the designers, working on the simulator, putting in a lot of work. To progress.
“I’m sure it won’t necessarily be whoever is the fastest in the first race who wins, and I’m sure there will be some interesting designs and maybe some underdogs will win. during tests or opening races.
“It’s the fastest growing, the fastest growing and building those foundations for years to come. That’s one side I’m really excited about from an engineering perspective.
“And then obviously teaming up with Lewis is obviously incredibly exciting. I’m in a privileged position to be alongside the best of all time.
“It’s an amazing opportunity to progress again as a driver and to see how I’m doing.”