George Russell: “I want to fight the best and that’s Lewis”

© Steve Etherington for Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Ltd.

George Russell answers Helmut Marko’s claims that Red Bull would be interested in making him an offer, if Mercedes doesn’t choose him for their 2022 seat.

George Russell’s contract with Williams is expiring at the end of the year, and it has already been confirmed by Toto Wolff that he is one of the candidates for a Mercedes seat in 2022.

In a move that was probably designed to stir some trouble for Mercedes, Red Bull advisor Dr. Helmut Marko said his team would be interested in making an offer to Russell.

Well, George has now ruled out any possibility of driving for Red Bull next year.

“It is impossible for me to drive for Red Bull next year,” the Briton told RTL.

“As I’ve said before, I’m a Mercedes driver. So while it’s nice to get positive feedback from the Formula 1 scene and hear about the interest of other teams, my only loyalty is to Mercedes.

“I will definitely drive a car with a Mercedes engine next year – that’s for sure. Mercedes is my car – my brand. What colour the car will be, I don’t know yet.”

When asked when he expects Wolff to make a decision, Russell said it could be at the end of August at the earliest.

“The earliest possible time would be at Spa, but it certainly won’t be earlier,” said Russell. “This kind of thing just takes time.

“We have to decide at the right moment and it simply hasn’t come yet.”

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However, Russell says he is ready to compete at the top of the grid.

“I am 100 percent ready to drive the fastest car and take the next step with it. With every race I feel better prepared and at the moment I can say ‘I’m ready’.

“I’ve missed the excitement and pressure of being up front and attacking. That’s what I live for. I’m ready to race against the best.

“I’ve raced against Max, Lando, guys like that for my entire junior career. The only new one would be Lewis Hamilton.

The young Briton says he is not intimidated by the prospect of fighting Lewis as his team-mate.

“If you want to be the best, you have to beat the best. It’s the only way. I want to fight the best and that’s Lewis.

“Every driver can learn so much from him, with all of his experience and also the respect he has for other people.

“He is a great person and a fantastic driver,” concluded Russell.

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