“I’ve got your back”- Toto Wolff says he has a backup plan for George Russell as exit from Williams seems imminent in 2021.
Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff has openly come out in support of George Russell, as the British driver sees a possible exit from Williams in 2021 with the latter team planning to hire Sergio Perez to implement heir revival in the sport.
Wolff has claimed even if Russell is dropped by his current team, he will have his back and will design a plan that will orchestrate his return in Formula 1 by 2022.
“I totally respect the independence of Williams like any other team and they need to make the decisions,” he said. “Sometimes financial decisions take priority over sporting decisions, and sometimes even the sporting decisions need to be balanced.”
“It’s not always a clear cut. It wouldn’t damage the relationship, it would be disappointing but that’s all. I’ll get over it.” he further said.
“These things are separate. These contracts, they are valid we will respect them, that’s how we do it here at Mercedes. I’m happy with the three customers that we have for next year.”
“No backup plan discussed”- George Russell
Meanwhile, Russell after his impressive 14th place performance at the Algarve circuit has claimed that no backup plan as of now has been discussed with Wolff over his speculated exit from Williams.
Really happy with that lap! P14 and just 0.15 from P11 – that’s massive for us!
Great job @williamsracing, proper team effort 💪💪
— George Russell (@GeorgeRussell63) October 24, 2020
“No, we’ve not talked about a fallback,” said Russell. “He’s just said ‘listen, I’ve got your back, you’ll be on the grid next year, don’t worry’.
“There’s obviously a lot of speculation and I think it has been fed from other people. Everything will be fine and 100% clarified from the team’s perspective probably no later than at the end of next week.”
In the end, this could be a blessing in disguise for Russell, who might see himself in Mercedes seat in 2022 if he is involved back in Mercedes’ system.
Or maybe he might have to take the route earlier taken by Esteban Ocon to reach to a team like Renault, which is also a lucrative alternative.