Hamilton: Russell form doesn't change Bottas preference for 2022

Lewis Hamilton says George Russell's starring performance in qualifying at Spa "doesn't really change anything" regarding who the world champion prefers to be his Mercedes Formula 1 teammate for 2022.

Mercedes is yet to reveal whether Russell will be promoted from Williams to drive alongside Hamilton next season, or if it will choose to keep Valtteri Bottas on for what would be a sixth straight year with an unchanged driver line-up since Nico Rosberg's shock departure at the end of 2016.

Russell and Bottas remained tight-lipped on progress regarding Mercedes' decision when F1 reconvened for this weekend's Belgian Grand Prix after the summer break, where Hamilton highlighted his working relationship with Bottas being "better than ever", but did say he would support whichever call his team makes.

Hamilton has regularly hinted that he would prefer Mercedes to keep an unchanged line-up for 2022 – the first year of the two-season contract he signed back in July – saying in June that he did not "necessarily see that it needs to change".

Read Also:

When asked if he still felt the same way about Russell potentially replacing Bottas after the Williams driver had secured a shock second place in qualifying at Spa, Hamilton replied: "I don't feel any different.

"I mean, George has been doing a great job all year. This just doesn't really change anything.

"I'm sure he's got pressure on him just as Valtteri does to do the job. And it's great to see him delivering. I can't fault him for it."

George Russell, Williams, in Parc Ferme after Qualifying

George Russell, Williams, in Parc Ferme after Qualifying

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

Speaking alongside Hamilton and Spa pole winner Max Verstappen in the post-qualifying press conference, Russell discussed the importance of delivering his best results at a crucial stage of his F1 career, although he insisted that "regardless" of the current situation he is "out every weekend to do 120%".

"I think Formula 1 is a pretty ruthless sport," said Russell, who finished just 0.321s adrift of Verstappen's pole-winning time.

"There's only opportunity for 20 drivers in the world and there's probably plenty more drivers who are deserving to be in Formula 1.

"So, regardless of my personal experience in these contract talks, at the moment you've to keep showing what you can do and never lift your foot off the throttle because if you do there will be a youngster coming through trying to take your seat.

"You can never be complacent."

Read Also:

shares
comments
Wolff: Mercedes has decided between Russell and Bottas for 2022

Previous article

Wolff: Mercedes has decided between Russell and Bottas for 2022

Next article

Alonso: Eau Rouge barrier changes will not stop big crashes

Alonso: Eau Rouge barrier changes will not stop big crashes
Load comments
Russian Grand Prix driver ratings Prime

Russian Grand Prix driver ratings

The 2021 Russian GP was decided by late-arriving rain that allowed some to climb and caused others to plummet. But the events which played out beforehand are equally significant when considering the all-important driver ratings

The "blind faith" Mercedes call that won Hamilton his 100th F1 race Prime

The "blind faith" Mercedes call that won Hamilton his 100th F1 race

Until rain turned the Russian Grand Prix on its head in the closing stages, Lando Norris was set to convert his first Formula 1 pole position into a maiden win. But having recovered well from being shuffled back at the start, Hamilton and his Mercedes team called the changing conditions spot-on for a landmark 100th F1 victory

Why momentum is again behind Australia's aces Prime

Why momentum is again behind Australia's aces

At the Italian Grand Prix Daniel Ricciardo turned around a troubled F1 season and, in F2, Oscar Piastri demonstrated once again that he is a potential star of the future. BEN EDWARDS weighs up the prospects of F1 having two Australian stars

Formula 1
Sep 26, 2021
The tough balancing act facing Schumacher’s Netflix film producers Prime

The tough balancing act facing Schumacher’s Netflix film producers

Michael Schumacher is the latest sporting superstar to get the ‘Netflix treatment’, with a special documentary film airing on the US streaming giant’s platform this month. DAMIEN SMITH has the inside track on how the filmmakers gained access to tell the human story behind one of Formula 1’s most publicity-shy champions - while the man himself, for obvious reasons, is in absentia… 

Formula 1
Sep 25, 2021
Why Verstappen should be confident of Russian GP recovery Prime

Why Verstappen should be confident of Russian GP recovery

For the second race in a row, Mercedes has ended the first day of track action on top. It’s in a commanding position at the Russian Grand Prix once again – this time largely thanks to Max Verstappen’s upcoming engine-change grid penalty. But there’s plenty to suggest all hope is not lost for the championship leader at Sochi...

Formula 1
Sep 24, 2021
Why dumping the MGU-H is the right move for F1 Prime

Why dumping the MGU-H is the right move for F1

OPINION: With its days apparently numbered, the MGU-H looks set to be dropped from Formula 1’s future engine rules in order to entice new manufacturers in. While it may appear a change of direction, the benefits for teams and fans could make the decision a worthwhile call

Formula 1
Sep 23, 2021
The floundering fortunes of F1’s many Lotus reboots Prime

The floundering fortunes of F1’s many Lotus reboots

Team Lotus ceased to exist in 1994 - and yet various parties have been trying to resurrect the hallowed name, in increasingly unrecognisable forms, ever since. Damien Smith brings GP Racing’s history of the legendary team to an end with a look at those who sought to keep the flame alive in Formula 1.

Formula 1
Sep 22, 2021
Why the 2021 title fight is far from F1's worst, despite its toxic background Prime

Why the 2021 title fight is far from F1's worst, despite its toxic background

OPINION: Formula 1 reconvenes for the Russian Grand Prix two weeks after the latest blow in ‘Max Verstappen vs Lewis Hamilton’. While the Silverstone and Monza incidents were controversial, they thankfully lacked one element that so far separates the 2021 title fight from the worst examples of ugly championship battles

Formula 1
Sep 22, 2021