George Russell nears an F1 record for the most podiums in F1 without a race win. Will he break the record before he gets his maiden victory?
Dating back to his Formula 3 debut in 2015 with Carlin George Russell has achieved huge success throughout his career. While in F3, Russell spent three years developing his skills and driving ability. During those three seasons, he managed nineteen podiums, seven wins, and a GP3 (now F3) Drivers World Championship.
He made a name for himself as a hot prospect and earned himself a seat with ART Grand Prix in Formula 2. During his one season in F2, Russell repeated his success with eleven podiums, seven wins, and the F2 Driver’s World Championship. He defeated future F1 drivers Lando Norris, Alex Albon, Nyck de Vries, and Nicolas Latifi.
Four years in the feeder series, and Russell’s received a contract with Williams in 2019 to become an F1 driver. Russell would spend the next three years with Williams and left quite the impression despite having a much slower car. Throughout his time with Williams, the car was consistently in the back of the pack and struggled to score points. Luckily, Russell’s ability allowed him to take an uncompetitive car into the battling midfield at times. He was labeled “Mr. Saturday” because of his impressive qualifying outings. This was best displayed when he qualified second at Spa and earned the podium that same weekend. Clearly, Russell had the talent to move up the grid.
Lewis Hamilton and George Russell sharing a podium for the very first time for Mercedes ❤️🍾 pic.twitter.com/PTNGLfl6e9
— ESPN F1 (@ESPNF1) July 24, 2022
Following the 2021 season, Russell signed a contract with Mercedes in 2022 to partner with seven-time champion Lewis Hamilton. The move meant that for the first time in his F1 career, Russell would be in a strong position to contend for wins and podiums. Despite the W13 struggling for the majority of the season, Russell has managed a career year with seven podiums (with two rounds remaining in 2022). He has finished in the top five in seventeen of twenty races this season and is currently ahead in points of Hamilton. Despite having eight career podiums, Russell does not have a win under his belt.
With those podiums, Russell is in a position to potentially break the record for most podiums before a win. He currently is tied with Italian Luigi Villoresi with eight podiums. The current record holder is former German driver Nick Heidfeld with thirteen podiums without a win. It’s an interesting record, drivers that are capable to finish on the podium but just not enough for the top step. The Mercedes W13 has been close to winning its first race, and it’s a matter of time before they do.
In the case of Russell, will he break the record before he gets his maiden win? It’s an intriguing record that drivers do not aim to achieve. Although it may be a rare record to break, it is more likely that Russell will win a race before he breaks the record. Russell has proven to himself and his team that he is capable of driving for a top team. Russell took a struggling car and managed seven podiums. Imagine what he can accomplish once Mercedes returns to its dominant form in the near future.
If Mercedes can continue their current development trajectory George Russell could very well likely win the first race of his career. He is too talented and Mercedes too adept at developing cars for him to remain on this chart for too long. As for an early prediction, Russell will get his maiden victory in F1 at the 2023 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix. After securing his first win, the constant pressure of winning that first race will be off his shoulders and will allow him to fully focus to be on the hunt for more. In return, this will brighten the future for Mercedes in the coming years. Whenever Lewis Hamilton decides to retire, Mercedes should be in good hands to maintain their winning standards.