Toto Wolff says George Russell is in Mercedes’ “long-term” plans

© Steve Etherington for Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Ltd.

Toto Wolff confirmed that Mercedes is looking to keep Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas for 2021, but George Russell still has a future with the team.

Williams has recently confirmed that George Russell will continue to drive for the team in 2021. As a Mercedes junior driver, the Briton has said many times that he hopes he’ll get a seat with the German team sooner rather than later, but team principal Toto Wolff says the move is not in the cards right now.

“George is certainly part of the plans in the long-term but not for 2021,” explained the Austrian.

“George has a three-year contract with Williams which has one more year, Claire [Williams – deputy team principal] has made it very clear that she sees George as an important asset to the team, and from that side one must respect the contractual situation.

“We knew, George and us, what we were getting ourselves into two years ago. Williams gave George the opportunity to come into Formula 1, and this is why the position Williams has taken is very much respected.”

Wolff also reiterated that Mercedes is focused on keeping its current driver line-up of Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas.

“On the other side, it doesn’t mean that if George was free, he would find a guaranteed slot within Mercedes.

“We are very happy with the line-up we have, Valtteri and Lewis. They perform well, they get on really well with each other, which is important for the dynamic within the team and the engineers who just really appreciate their feedback.

“Valtteri and Lewis are our drivers today, and loyalty is something that is very important to us, and we are always looking at the long-term picture.”

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