Amid rumors of contract negotiations with Lewis Hamilton reaching an impasse, Mercedes might look elsewhere for options. 22-year-old George Russell is one of them.
In addition to being an honorary graduate of the Mercedes Junior Drivers Programme, he even received the chance to drive for the defending champions in the Sakhir GP during Hamilton’s absence. Despite a short period for adaptation, the young Briton did well on his first stint with the team.
However, renowned F1 journalist Will Buxton has said that Williams believe Russell is not exactly a ‘transferable component’. Therefore, logically, the Grove-based outfit are looking to retain Russell for the upcoming 2021 season as well.
Speaking in a video, Buxton stated, “Jost Capito, the new CEO, joins a little bit later this year, 1st of February is his first day at the team. Simon Roberts stays on as Team Principal, just really getting used to his new position at the team.
“There’s a lot of really good feeling in Williams at the moment. One thing that I did have confirmed to me though when I spoke to the team is that George Russell is not a transferable component between Mercedes and Williams. Not yet, anyway.”
Russell has spent 2 full seasons with Williams racing in Formula 1 and has gained a decent level of experience. With a new season on the horizon and a change in management personnel, one can see why Williams would want to retain their best driver.
There was a lot of intrigue and curiosity around whether Russell could adapt to the fine workings of the Mercedes W11. But following a day’s practice ahead of the Sakhir GP, he showed he was more than comfortable with the car.
His speeds down the straights and overtaking moves around the apexes made him seem like a much more accomplished F1 driver. Until a point in time in the race, he had even gotten the better of his teammate Valtteri Bottas.
Hence, it is natural to see Russell move to a bigger team in the near future. But as it stands, based on the current situation, the move may not be suited for the 2021 season.