Russell wants F1 future beyond 2021 decided by summer break

George Russell says he, Mercedes and Williams all want his Formula 1 future beyond 2021 decided before this year’s summer break.

The Williams racer has been heavily linked with a move to the Black Arrows squad, where he has been part of its junior programme since 2017, for 2022, following his starring performances for Williams and his near-win in the 2020 Sakhir Grand Prix.

If Russell were to join Mercedes, he would likely do so either as teammate to Lewis Hamilton, with Valtteri Bottas leaving the squad, or in place of Hamilton if the world champion decides to retire or exit the team at the end of his one-year deal for 2021.

Hamilton has also said “it would be great to get something in place before the break” about continuing with Mercedes beyond this year.

Speaking to Motorsport.com in an exclusive interview included in full for this week’s Autosport magazine, Russell said: “I think, naturally, we all want something decided either way by the summer break, really. I think it's in everybody's best interests.

“But to be honest, I'm really not pushing the subject with anybody really - with Mercedes, with Williams. Because I am purely just focused on my job here. And I know that, as I've always said, if I perform to my potential [that I] believe I'm capable of, you're putting yourself in the shop window.

“And I think that race in Bahrain gave me a unique opportunity to almost prove it. Whereas, prior to that, it was always a small unknown - because of the situation I found myself in [with Williams].

“So, I'm really not pushing the subject. Just enjoying every single race, enjoying where I find myself. But I think it's really exciting that Lewis has openly been talking about the next couple of years. And it's clear that he's still performing at an incredibly high level.

“I think it will be amazing for the sport, and for Mercedes, if he were to continue. And obviously, as any young driver, you want to go against the best. And Lewis is the best.”

Read Also:

When asked if a decision “either way” meant there was a simple choice to be made between Russell joining Mercedes for 2022 or remaining with Williams for a fourth successive season, he replied: “I mean, obviously, there's a lot of talk about a promotion to, or 'a move', I should say, to Mercedes.

“But I think for all of us at the end of the day – Mercedes do manage me, and they do want the best for my career. They are in a unique position, in that sense. But they just want the best for me. And if they believe I deserve the opportunity, then it'll be there.

“If they don't believe I deserve it, then they will find me a seat somewhere where I can continue to develop. But I feel like I'm ready to fight for world championships and fight for victories. I feel ready right now to be able to do that, let alone with another year under my belt by the end of this season.

“So, wherever I find myself next year, I want to be in a car that will give me the chance to win races. Because I didn't fight my whole career to get to F1 to be fighting for 15th and 16th.

“I fought my whole career to get here and to win. And that's what I'm so focused more than ever on doing.”

The full interview with Russell will be featured in the 3 June issue of Autosport magazine, which will be available in shops and to subscribe online here: www.autosportmedia.com.  

shares
comments

Related video

The unsung star of F1 2021 so far
Previous article

The unsung star of F1 2021 so far

Next article

Remembering the legendary Bruce McLaren, over 50 years on

Remembering the legendary Bruce McLaren, over 50 years on
Load comments
The humbling changes Ricciardo made to deliver the goods for McLaren Prime

The humbling changes Ricciardo made to deliver the goods for McLaren

From being lapped by his own teammate in Monaco to winning at Monza, it’s been a tumultuous first season at McLaren for Daniel Ricciardo. But, as he tells STUART CODLING, there’s more to the story of his turnaround than having a lovely summer holiday during Formula 1's summer break...

The potential benefits of losing the F1 constructors' title Prime

The potential benefits of losing the F1 constructors' title

As the battle continues to rage over the F1 2021 drivers' championship, teams up and down the grid are turning their attentions to the prize money attributed to each position in the constructors' standings. But F1's sliding scale rules governing wind tunnel and CFD use will soften the blow for those who miss out on the top places

Formula 1
Nov 25, 2021
The invisible enemy that's made Hamilton's title charge tougher Prime

The invisible enemy that's made Hamilton's title charge tougher

After winning his past few Formula 1 titles as a canter, Lewis Hamilton currently trails Max Verstappen by eight points heading into the final double-header of 2021. Although Red Bull has been his biggest on-track challenge, Hamilton feels that he has just as much to grapple with away from the circuit

Formula 1
Nov 24, 2021
Why F1's inconvenient penalties have to stay Prime

Why F1's inconvenient penalties have to stay

OPINION: Quibbles over the length of time taken by Formula 1's stewards over decisions are entirely valid. But however inconvenient it is, there can be no questioning the importance of having clearly defined rules that everyone understands and can stick to. Recent events have shown that ambiguity could have big consequences

Formula 1
Nov 23, 2021
The mistakes Red Bull cannot afford to repeat in F1 2021's title fight climax Prime

The mistakes Red Bull cannot afford to repeat in F1 2021's title fight climax

OPINION: Red Bull has had Formula 1’s fastest package for most of 2021, but in several of the title run-in events it has wasted the RB16B’s potential. It cannot afford to do so again with Lewis Hamilton motoring back towards Max Verstappen in the drivers’ standings with two rounds remaining

Formula 1
Nov 23, 2021
Qatar Grand Prix driver ratings Prime

Qatar Grand Prix driver ratings

Qatar was a virtual unknown for most as Formula 1 made its inaugural visit to the Gulf state, and tyre management quickly emerged as an even more critical factor than normal. Perhaps then it should come as no surprise that two of the championship's elder statesmen produced standout drives

Formula 1
Nov 22, 2021
How Hamilton dominated in Qatar despite missing a key Mercedes advantage Prime

How Hamilton dominated in Qatar despite missing a key Mercedes advantage

There was simply no stopping Lewis Hamilton on Formula 1's first visit to Qatar. The Mercedes driver eased to pole position and led every lap to secure an utterly dominant victory - even without a key Mercedes weapon in his arsenal to increase the heat on Red Bull heading into the final two races of the gripping 2021 title race

Formula 1
Nov 22, 2021
Qatar's long-term plans for a "World Cup every single year" Prime

Qatar's long-term plans for a "World Cup every single year"

Qatar is preparing to host the football World Cup next year, but will be thrown into the sporting spotlight this weekend as Formula 1 prepares to race in the country. Ahead of a 10-year deal to hold a grand prix from 2023 onwards, it's a much-needed opportunity to highlight reforms in the country

Formula 1
Nov 20, 2021