“For me, this is a clear indication” – Former F1 driver Ralf Schumacher is increasingly confident George Russell will move to Mercedes after a noticeable event in Hungary.
Former champion Jacques Villeneuve doesn’t feel the same though and considers a swap between Valtteri Bottas and Lance Stroll to be more likely. He feels Aston Martin’s strong connections with Mercedes and Toto Wolff could get Stroll Jr. his dream move to Mercedes.
“For me he [Bottas] could move to Aston Martin in place of Lance Stroll, who would go to Mercedes. Stroll senior’s dream, very close to Toto Wolff, is to see his son winning championships. And Toto needs a place for Valtteri.”
That’s @MercedesAMGF1 and @GeorgeRussell63 heading home from the @HungaroringF1. A total of 137 laps and a good feel for what next year’s #Fit4F1 18-inch tyres are going to be like. @F1 @fia pic.twitter.com/cKyvwKjumY
— Pirelli Motorsport (@pirellisport) August 3, 2021
Responding to his comments, Ralf Schumacher said he finds it unlikely this would happen, and that a swap between Bottas and George Russell instead is inevitable. A major hint supporting this is Russell driving the W12 during the Pirelli tyre tests in Hungary, the Italian company trialling its new 18-inch tyres for next season.
“It’s true that [Lawrence] Stroll and Wolff are close buddies. But how far would they go? I don’t think Lance Stroll plays a role at Mercedes. I think that’s where Russell is seated.
“It is no coincidence he is driving the tests for Mercedes with the new 18-inch tyres that will be used next year. For me, this is a clear indication.
“Toto will try to move him [Bottas] to another place. First I see Alfa Romeo and Williams, but of course there is also a connection to Aston Martin.”