George Russell delighted Nyck de Vries was given an opportunity in F1

Mercedes driver George Russell is looking forward to reigniting his rivalry with Nyck de Vries in Formula 1.

Russell is convinced De Vries more than deserves a shot at proving himself in F1 and was delighted when he was given the chance by AlphaTauri.

The pair developed a friendly rivalry in Karting that pushed both of them to the next level and they did battle all the way through the ranks including Formula 3 and Formula 2.

"Out of the karting boys Nyck was the only one who hadn't made it to F1 who probably deserved to make it to F1," said Russell.

"So those five drivers, between myself, Alex, Max [Verstappen], Charles [Leclerc] and Nyck, who were in that period racing against each other in '11 and '12, as I said, Nyck was the only one who didn't make it, so happy to see him there.

"I've always rated him. In go-karting, he was the man to beat. I never raced him in go-karting, but out of all of us, he was probably the most successful one in go-karting.

"I've never not rated him. I think to get to F1, you need to do the job at the right time when there is an opportunity on the grid, and sometimes those stars don't align.

"But with the amount of stars that aligned in Monza it probably made up for the unfortunateness of a few years ago."

De Vries is the oldest of that group of karters to get through to Formula 1 and Russell admitted he is interested to see how that additional experience at the lower levels plays out in F1.

"Definitely intrigued to see how he'll get on," said Russell. "I've got no doubt that he'll perform well. He's got all the possibilities to be a great F1 driver. I'm sure he'll do great."

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