The newly-announced one-year contract between Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton means that the Briton will be without a seat when the 2021 season ends. Interestingly, due to their own contracts, both George Russell and Valterri Bottas will be without seats as well, meaning that there will be three drivers gunning for two Mercedes seats.
The fact that the Silver Arrows will be looking for two drivers at the end of 2021 is good news for Russell. The young Briton is eagerly waiting for his promotion from Williams to the reigning champions and have his shot at the world title.
And Craig Slater of Sky Sports agrees, as thinks this situation means Russell would have better chances of getting the coveted seat at the end of 2021.
“With regards to George Russell, he’s still waiting in the wings. You have a situation now that you will have, for that 2022 season, Lewis Hamilton, Valtteri Bottas, and George Russell all out of contract at Mercedes, which is interesting.
“George Russell now has maybe extra opportunity to get into that Mercedes seat in 2022 either if they don’t continue with Bottas or if Hamilton says ‘it’s eight, and I vacate’,” he said.
The one-year deal between the parties is to ensure they have complete flexibility on what to do after the season. Wolff had stated earlier that they will start their 2022 talks a bit earlier this season. However, Slater reveals that both parties were looking for a one-year deal.
“A senior figure at Mercedes expressed to me that both sides wanted flexibility of a year. That is interesting,” Slater pointed out.
“In Lewis Hamilton’s case, if he wins his eighth World title at the age of 36, he is ahead of Formula 1’s statistics by every measure, by every significant manner, he might wake up the next morning and decide he wants to do something else.”
Fans really want to see George Russell drive for Mercedes after witnessing his overtake on Bottas at the Sakhir GP. However, it will be foolish to assume that 2022 will be his time. Hamilton had previously talked about his interest in the new generation of cars, and thus we can’t count him out yet.
If Valtteri Bottas fails to impress the Mercedes supremo, George Russell will surely come much closer to a 2022 Mercedes seat.
Do you think the young Briton will join the Brackley squad for 2022?