George Russell made several million heads turn with his performances last year for an awful Williams team. There was no doubting the talent he possessed having won the F2 championship, but Russell was unlucky to have gotten the worst car on the grid in his rookie season.
Last year, though, was different. The car was still bad, but George’s performances papered over the cracks. In fact, he did so well that he put his name in lights for a Mercedes drive. No doubt ‘that’ weekend in Sakhir helped his cause big time too. With doubts persisting over the driver lineup for Mercedes next year, Russell revealed when he’ll know his fate.
Russell has always spoken highly of the Silver Arrows and shares a close relation with team boss Toto Wolff. His name seems destined to land up on the payroll of the Brackley-based outfit sooner rather than later.
However, the vital factors will be whether Lewis Hamilton wishes to race beyond this year and how the incumbent Valtteri Bottas performs. As such, there are no certainties for Russell.
He said (translated via Google), “My relationship with Mercedes and Toto Wolff is stronger than ever. They are well aware of my situation and know that I want to fight for both victories and the championship. Last year they saw what I could do in Bahrain.
“If I switch to the team, it will happen naturally.”
The Williams driver added, “The decision will be made at the end of the summer (August) at the latest, because it is very important for all parties involved – Mercedes, Williams and their drivers – to do so. If there is no disaster in the next six months, Mercedes will clarify both their own and my situation.
“Every year I’m getting stronger and I think I’m already at the level where I can fight for victories and championships.”
Until then, all that Russell can do is stick to his guns and continue to eke out performances at the Grove-based outfit. Having opened his F1 points tally during his cameo stint with Mercedes, Russell is yet to do so in Williams colors. He’ll be hoping to change the statistic soon, and maybe the Bahrain Grand Prix might provide him with just the right opportunity, who knows?