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George Russell has revealed that he expects a decision on his future at Mercedes to be made in the summer, most likely during the summer break.
In an interview with PA News Agency, the 23 year old was confident that he will know his fate by August as to whether he will progress into a top drive at Mercedes.
“My relationship with Mercedes and Toto Wolff is stronger than it has ever been. They know the situation. They know I want to be fighting for victories and championships,” said the Briton. “They saw what I could do in Bahrain. I need to focus on myself and I don’t need to be badgering them. In the past I have always tried to make things happen, but it is different now. I have been with Mercedes for six years, they are my second family, and if it happens it will happen naturally,”
“It will not be any longer than the summer break (in August) for all parties involved – Mercedes, Williams and for all the drivers – so it is fair on everybody,” he continued. “And unless anything catastrophic happens in the coming six months, Mercedes know the position I am in and the position they are in. I am getting stronger year-on-year and I believe I am at a level and ready to be fighting for wins and world championships. But we will have to see. Formula One is a funny business and I don’t take anything for granted.”
Russell joined Williams in 2019 and has impressed the paddock with his skill and determination in an under performing car. His is hotly tipped to be a future world champion after standing in for seven time world champion Lewis Hamilton at the Sakhir Grand Prix last year. He came close to his maiden grand prix win but it was snatched from him as Mercedes made a catastrophic mistake during his pit stop. He then suffered from a puncture which dropped him down to 9th from the lead.
The outing proved he was quicker than Valtteri Bottas in the same car, and impressed Mercedes. With Bottas and Hamilton out of contract at the end of this year, and Russell’s three year deal coming to an end, it seems a natural step to progress him into a top drive. Many also believe that his performance as Hamilton’s stand in was a key factor in the decision to give Hamilton just a 12 month extension to his agreement.
“We haven’t spoken,” said Russell of Hamilton. “My relationship with Lewis is fine. There are no issues. I don’t know what I was expecting, and if I was expecting him to say anything after the race. But equally I don’t know how I would feel if someone took my seat at Williams.”
Header Image: Steve Etherington for Mercedes AMG F1 Team
Image Credit: LAT Images
Source: The Independent https://www.independent.co.uk/sport/motor-racing/formula1/george-russell-mercedes-future-lewis-hamilton-b1820504.html