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
How Lotus uncovered, then squandered its last ‘unfair advantage’ Prime

How Lotus uncovered, then squandered its last ‘unfair advantage’

Cast in the mould of its founder Colin Chapman, Lotus was powerful and daring but flawed – as it proved through further soaring peaks and painful troughs into the 1980s. DAMIEN SMITH examines a game-changing era

Formula 1
Jul 27, 2021
The core problems Yas Marina’s long-awaited tweaks won't address Prime

The core problems Yas Marina’s long-awaited tweaks won't address

OPINION: Changes to the layout of Abu Dhabi’s circuit aim to reverse the trend of insipid Formula 1 races there - the promoter has even described one of the new corners as “iconic”. And that, argues STUART CODLING, is one of this venue’s abiding failings

Formula 1
Jul 26, 2021
How Ferrari offered Callum Ilott what Red Bull couldn't Prime

How Ferrari offered Callum Ilott what Red Bull couldn't

Last year's Formula 2 runner-up Callum Ilott could be on his way to becoming the first Briton to contest a grand prix in an Alfa Romeo since Reg Parnell in 1950. But, says Oleg Karpov, the Ferrari Driver Academy protege is having to temper his ambition at the moment – outwardly at least…

Formula 1
Jul 25, 2021
The signs that point to F1's rude health Prime

The signs that point to F1's rude health

OPINION: Formula 1's calendar might still be facing disruption as the pandemic affects travel but, says Mark Gallagher, the business itself is fundamentally strong thanks to the epic rivalry taking place on track and the consistent arrival of new sponsors.

Formula 1
Jul 24, 2021
The unexpected benefit of F1's sprint race repeat Prime

The unexpected benefit of F1's sprint race repeat

OPINION: Formula 1's sprint race trial at Silverstone drew mixed feedback on Saturday, but there remained the true test of how it would impact Sunday's Grand Prix. While fans were busy marvelling at Fernando Alonso's progress, a key lesson was being learned that would directly contribute to the dramatic lap-one clash at Copse the following day

Formula 1
Jul 22, 2021
The off-track considerations that led to Hamilton/Verstappen F1 shunt Prime

The off-track considerations that led to Hamilton/Verstappen F1 shunt

OPINION: Formula 1’s 2021 title fight turned ugly last weekend when Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton collided at the start of the British Grand Prix. Verstappen thankfully walked away unharmed, but this had been a clash long-since coming.

Formula 1
Jul 21, 2021
British Grand Prix Driver Ratings Prime

British Grand Prix Driver Ratings

The 2021 British Grand Prix will live long in the memory for the dramatic clash between Formula 1's two title protagonists, which opened the door for other drivers to capitalise. One did so in spectacular fashion, while others fluffed their lines

Formula 1
Jul 19, 2021
How Leclerc almost defied Hamilton after Silverstone clash Prime

How Leclerc almost defied Hamilton after Silverstone clash

A poor start for Valtteri Bottas and the lap one clash between Formula 1's 2021 title protagonists gave Charles Leclerc a surprise lead in the British Grand Prix that he almost held to the end. Here's how the Ferrari driver came close to a famous victory, ultimately denied by a recovering Lewis Hamilton three laps from home

Formula 1
Jul 19, 2021