Mercedes junior driver and Williams’ current racing driver George Russell talks about the possibility of being promoted to the German team.
Russell entered Formula 1 in 2019, along with fellow Formula 2 drivers Alex Albon and Lando Norris. But while Norris immediately got a seat with an improving McLaren and Albon got promoted to the front-running Red Bull mid-season, the 2018 Formula 2 champion wasn’t as lucky. He made his F1 debut in a declining Williams, which solidified its position at the bottom of the standings in 2019.
However with both Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas not signed to Mercedes beyond 2020, Russell is looking at the possibility of being promoted to the German team. In fact, Russell, a product of Mercedes’ junior driver programme, is one of the few names that are constantly being mentioned when Mercedes’ 2021 lineup is discussed.
“Mercedes don’t have the junior programme for no reason,” said Russell.
“Likewise Red Bull and Ferrari. The whole goal is to try and develop a driver and bring them through into the main team.
“Obviously it’s a lot about timing as well, there’s only two seats per team and at Mercedes, you’ve obviously got Lewis doing the business and he and Valtteri have been a great pairing for the last couple of years, winning the championship.
“So there must be part of them thinking why do we need to change.
“But on the other hand you start to look at the likes of Ferrari with Carlos [Sainz] and Charles [Leclerc] – arguably they could be there for the next four, five, six years as a pairing.
“Likewise with Danny [Ricciardo] and Lando at McLaren, and then arguably Max [Verstappen] and Alex at Red Bull. I think for any company having that stability is hugely important.
“It’s great to see that these teams are looking for the future, and we’ll see what’s next,” concluded the young Briton.
Source: Sky Sports F1