Mercedes boss Toto Wolff has revealed how he was impressed by rookie George Russell from the first time he met him.
The Brit will spend his first season in Formula 1 with Mercedes after winning the Formula 2 Championship in 2018 and Wolff recalled his first encounter with the 20-year-old.
"My first encounter with George was when he was 15 or 16 years old, and he asked me for a meeting," Wolff said to Formula 1.com.
"He came in a black suit and a tie with a notebook, and he said 'I’ve just won - I think it was the F4 title in British F4 - and I’m considering doing F3.
“ 'My feeling is that I should be staying with a British team because I’m very young and I understand Carlin, and would that close the Mercedes door for me if I’m not on a Mercedes engine in F3 in my first year?'” The Austrian revealed.
Wolff was impressed by how mature the young driver came across and believes he has everything needed to thrive in F1.
“So he has the brain, he has the empathy, the social skills and the driving.
"I can only repeat what Sebastien Philippe [Russell’s boss at ART, his F2 team] told me.
“He said he’s one of the best we’ve ever had within our team.”