Formula 1 | Russell now knows where he will drive next year
George Russell says he was briefed on his future in Formula 1 ahead of last weekend’s Belgian Grand Prix, amid growing speculation he will join Mercedes.
Russell has been backed by Mercedes since his junior career and has spent the last three years with Williams in Formula 1.
Mercedes has previously indicated that it is assessing whether to promote Russell for 2022 or retain Valtteri Bottas, who has led alongside Lewis Hamilton for the past five seasons.
Part of the driver market fell into place on Wednesday when Kimi Raikkonen announced he would be retiring from Formula 1 at the end of the season.
This opens a vacant position at Alfa Romeo, a team with which Bottas is now strongly linked, having expressed his desire to stay in Formula 1.
Russell told Zandvoort today that he didn’t « no news to announce » but confirmed that « I know where I will be driving next year ».
« I know it, verbally, it dates from before Spa (and his achievement in qualifying therefore, editor’s note). Like I said, I’m not going to sit here and lie or not tell the truth. truth is that there is nothing to announce but I am aware of the situation I will be in next year and I was informed just before Spa. «
Hamilton has just stated that he expects a good relationship with Russell and that harmony will not be destroyed at Mercedes F1.
Asked hot about these statements (to be read here), Russell simply reiterated the comments he made on several occasions: « I have enormous respect for Lewis and everything he has accomplished and saw him working incredibly hard with the engineers when I was a junior pilot. »
« He certainly doesn’t just rely on his immense natural talent, he goes above and beyond to try and find that little extra. I guess for any rider you want the opportunity to compete against the best and learn from the best. and I think it would be an incredible opportunity to be by his side. «