Russell: No promises made by Mercedes over 2022 F1 seat

George Russell says “no promises have been made” over a Mercedes Formula 1 seat for 2022, and that his focus lies entirely with Williams ahead of the new season.

Russell: No promises made by Mercedes over 2022 F1 seat

Russell is entering the final year of his Williams F1 contract in 2021, leading to suggestions that he could step up to join parent team Mercedes for next season.

Mercedes has supported Russell’s racing career since the end of 2016, and opted to draft him in to race for its team when Lewis Hamilton tested positive for COVID-19 ahead of the Sakhir Grand Prix.

Russell dominated the race and was on course for victory before a tyre mix-up and a puncture left him to finish the race ninth, but the performance only furthered the calls for him to be handed a promotion in the future.

Mercedes has two vacant seats for 2022 after Hamilton only signed a one-year contract extension, giving the team freedom in the driver market.

Russell stressed that any decision over a Mercedes seat was “out of my hands”, and that no promises had been made over a possible promotion.

“Toto [Wolff] has always given me his word, and he has always given me the opportunity when they believe I deserve it,” Russell said.

“They have told me that I am a part of their future. Whenever that may be is again when they believe that the time is right. I think a lot of people think next year is the natural path.

 

Photo by: Williams

“But equally, things change very, very quickly in motorsport, especially in Formula 1. So I’m not even thinking about it to be honest.

“I obviously had a taste of life at the front of the grid last year, but as I said, I’m just focused on the here and now, focusing on Bahrain. If I perform on-track and I deliver, continuing on the same path and progress that I’ve been on so far, I guess in the future the opportunity will come.

“But I’m not even thinking about it and no promises have been made at all.”

Russell has starred throughout his time at Williams despite never scoring an F1 point with the team, and has never been outqualified by a team-mate while driving for the British squad.

Williams is entering the 2021 season boosted by its takeover by US investment group Dorilton Capital last summer, marking a new era for the team after struggling at the foot of the championship in recent years.

Asked what his plans would be if Mercedes did not sign him to its team for 2022, Russell talked up Williams’ future prospects.

“There’s a lot of speculation and thoughts ahead of the 2022 season where I’ll be,” Russell said.

“If that were not to happen, what most of you guys are speculating, it’s an interesting position for me. But as it currently stands with the whole investment from Dorilton, the changes I’ve already seen taking place at Williams… Williams have finished last in the constructors’ for the past three seasons. I don’t think that will be the case in 2022.

“I see a very bright future here. There’s a massive opportunity for every team in F1 for 2022, and as the guys have said, with the investment we’ve got, with the guys who are already here, with the guys like Jost [Capito] who are coming in, the relationship that has been built with Mercedes, it’s looking very exciting for the team.

“I guess I’ve got a very interesting decision on my hands towards the middle of this year, but I’m not even thinking about that now.”

shares
comments

Related video

The updates Williams hopes will lead to a points-scoring return

Previous article

The updates Williams hopes will lead to a points-scoring return

Next article

Hulkenberg could dovetail Mercedes and Aston Martin reserve role

Hulkenberg could dovetail Mercedes and Aston Martin reserve role
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Drivers George Russell
Teams Williams
Author Luke Smith
The back-bedroom world-beater that began a new F1 era Plus

The back-bedroom world-beater that began a new F1 era

The first in a line of world beaters was designed in a back bedroom and then constructed in a shed. STUART CODLING recalls the Tyrrell 001

The clues Hamilton’s F1 contract afterthought gives to his future Plus

The clues Hamilton’s F1 contract afterthought gives to his future

The Formula 1 world reacted with surprise when it learned Lewis Hamilton’s long-awaited new Mercedes deal guarantees his presence on the grid only until the end of 2021. Both parties claimed publicly they were happy with the arrangement but, asks MARK GALLAGHER, is there more to it than that?

Formula 1
Apr 17, 2021
How a harshly ejected Red Bull star has been hooked by racing again Plus

How a harshly ejected Red Bull star has been hooked by racing again

Driver-turned-DJ Jaime Alguersuari lost his love for motorsport when he was booted out of Formula 1 just as he was starting to polish his rough edges. Having drifted from category to category then turned his back on racing altogether in 2015, he’s come full circle and is planning a return in karts for fun

Formula 1
Apr 17, 2021
Why Mercedes isn't confident it's really ahead of Red Bull at Imola Plus

Why Mercedes isn't confident it's really ahead of Red Bull at Imola

While Mercedes struck back against Red Bull by topping the times at Imola on Friday ahead of the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, the overall picture remains incredibly close. Despite having a possible edge this weekend, the reigning Formula 1 world champion squad is not taking anything for granted...

Formula 1
Apr 16, 2021
What Mercedes must do to keep its F1 title challenge on track Plus

What Mercedes must do to keep its F1 title challenge on track

Mercedes may find itself leading the drivers' and constructors' standings after Lewis Hamilton's victory in the Bahrain Grand Prix, but it is well-aware that it came against the odds, with Red Bull clearly ahead on pace. Here's what the Brackley team must do to avoid its crown slipping

Formula 1
Apr 16, 2021
Why Tsunoda can become Japan’s greatest F1 talent Plus

Why Tsunoda can become Japan’s greatest F1 talent

While Japan's fever for motor racing is well-documented, the country has yet to produce a Formula 1 superstar – but that could be about to change, says BEN EDWARDS

Formula 1
Apr 15, 2021
Why the demise of F1's hypocritical spending habit is cause for celebration Plus

Why the demise of F1's hypocritical spending habit is cause for celebration

For too long, F1's richest teams have justified being able to spend as much as they want because that's the way they've always conducted their business. STUART CODLING says that's no reason not to kick a bad habit

Formula 1
Apr 14, 2021
The double whammy that is defining Vettel’s F1 fate Plus

The double whammy that is defining Vettel’s F1 fate

It's been a tough start to Sebastian Vettel's Aston Martin F1 career, with a lack of pre-season testing mileage followed by an incident-packed Bahrain GP. But two key underlying factors mean a turnaround is not guaranteed

Formula 1
Apr 14, 2021