George Russell has proclaimed that he is "ready to fight for World Championships" as the wait goes on to find out who will partner Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes for the 2022 season.
Mercedes-backed Russell is contesting his third F1 season with Williams and is in the running to join Hamilton in place of Valtteri Bottas, who has been racing for the Silver Arrows since 2017.
Russell came close to taking pole position and the race victory during a one-off appearance for Mercedes at last year's Sakhir Grand Prix, standing in for the unwell Hamilton.
He has continued to shine with Williams in 2021, making Q2 several times, recording back-to-back Q3 appearances at the Red Bull Ring and Silverstone, and scoring his first points for the team at the Hungaroring – after many near misses.
In an interview with GPFans Global, Russell said: "I do feel ready to fight for World Championships and win races.
"I would have loved to come into Formula 1 and be fighting for victories from my very first race.
"Perhaps I'll look back in 10 or 15 years and say this experience at the back end of the field has paid dividends for me in the long run.
"But no matter where I end up next year, no matter what position I'm fighting for, whether that's fighting for championships or fighting just for points, I'll be giving it everything I've got."
Earlier this week, former F1 driver John Watson expressed doubts that Hamilton would be comfortable with Russell joining him at Mercedes, describing the 23-year-old as a "young lion".
"I'd love to see George in a Mercedes," said Watson.
"But if that was going to be the case, George would have to accept that he will have to play second fiddle to Lewis, in any time they were together."
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