“This sport changes incredibly quickly” – George Russell is not thinking of a Mercedes future amid free agent Sir Lewis Hamilton’s contract breakdown reports.
George Russell had a dreamy 2020 season, with a one-off race for Mercedes, after Lewis Hamilton got the covid bug. He could, and should have won it, had it not been for the errors by the Merc pit crew and the Pirelli tyres.
After the 2020 Season, there have now been three Brits to participate for Mercedes in F1 💪
I’d challenge you to name all 3, but I’m sure you already know them 😉
— Mercedes Stats (@MercedesStats) January 8, 2021
Cut to 2021, with reports of (now) Sir Lewis Hamilton not agreeing on a contract extension with Mercedes yet, there is a crazy possibility of the junior Brit taking the elusive seat on the grid. But speaking to Motorsport.com, Russell maintained that he is not thinking about the dream move already. Instead, he is focused on helping Merc-powered Williams overtake Haas and Alfa Romeo this season.
“No, they’ve not said what I need to do. At the moment I’m just respectful to everyone at Williams and I will just be giving my absolute all for that team, as they have done for me for the last two years.”
“I don’t like to think about the future. This sport changes incredibly quickly, people’s perception of drivers – your reputation [can change fast]. And outside factors, as we’ve seen [can come into play].”
Toto Wolff chooses between Valtteri Bottas and George Russell (for now)
It is no secret that Russell outshone his Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas in the one-off race at Sakhir. This, naturally, has amplified rumors of the Mercedes junior driver replacing the Finn in 2022.
This is if Russell doesn’t replace Hamilton already this season, in what would be an extraordinary situation of the defending champion not having a drive to defend the title with. But team boss and part-owner Toto Wolff has given his judgment on the Russell vs Bottas debate for this season, at least, if not 2022.
“One day George will be in a good car and hopefully race for victories and Championships. But that is far away. He knows that. We have total trust in Valtteri and loyalty, as we’ve always had, and that is our position.”