“Only 1 Decision” – F1 Director Ross Brawn Gives Verdict on Bottas-Russell Mercedes Dilemma

Published 08/31/2021, 4:00 AM EDT
Formula One F1 – Sakhir Grand Prix – Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain – Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas and George Russell in action during qualifying Pool via REUTERS/Giuseppe Cacace


The first leg of the second triple-header of the season at Spa-Francorchamps was full of surprises. While F1 fans witnessed what was arguably the shortest race in the sport’s history, Haas’ Nikita Mazepin took the fastest lap of the race. But the most notable one was George Russell, who secured his first podium after finishing P2, ahead of his potential future teammate, Lewis Hamilton.

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The young Brit stood out in qualifying and achieved a front row start at the Belgian Grand Prix grid, a month after securing the first points for Williams at Hungaroring.

And with Russell heavily linked to join Mercedes to replace Valtteri Bottas, F1 Managing Director, Motorsport, Ross Brawn believes there’s only one decision Mercedes needs to make regarding the second seat for next year.

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There is only one decision for Mercedes next year: Ross Brawn

“We all know George Russell has a fantastic talent. We have seen it a lot at Williams, and we saw it amplified at Mercedes when he stood in for Lewis Hamilton at the Sakhir Grand Prix last year,” wrote Ross Brawn while discussing the key points from the Belgian GP.

“George’s performance reminded me a lot of Fernando Alonso when he drove at a wet Spa for Minardi in 2001. He was mighty impressive in a car that clearly was not up to the job.

BAHRAIN, BAHRAIN – George Russell of Great Britain and Mercedes GP prepares to drive on the grid before the F1 Grand Prix of Sakhir at Bahrain International Circuit in Bahrain, Bahrain. (Photo by Peter Fox/Getty Images)

“He doesn’t have a front row car, but in those tricky conditions in qualifying, he trounced people with far better cars than he had. In my view, there is only one decision for Mercedes next year with regards the second seat.”

Not the way I wanted my first podium: George Russell

After the second restart, the Belgian GP got canceled after completing just over four laps behind the safety car. Hence, with the cars failing to complete over 75% of the race, the top ten drivers were awarded half points.

However, for George Russell, completing a few of laps behind the safety car for the classification is not the way he wanted his first F1 podium.

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As quoted by Planet F1, when asked if it was a significant weekend for him and Williams, he said, “Absolutely. Obviously not the way I’d have liked to have scored my first podium.”

Formula One F1 – Belgian Grand Prix – Spa-Francorchamps, Spa, Belgium – August 28, 2021 Williams’ George Russell celebrates after qualifying second Pool via REUTERS/John Thys

“A little bit of a strange feeling achieving it in this way but at the end of the day we’ve been rewarded for such a fantastic job yesterday [in qualifying].”

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DIVE DEEPER

WATCH: George Russell & Max Verstappen Engage in a Sarcastic Conversation Following the Belgian GP

28 days ago

Can Mr. Saturday continue to impress on Sundays in the second half of the season? What do you think? Let us know in the comments section below.

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Pingaksh Sharma

263 articles

Pingaksh Sharma is an F1 author at EssentiallySports. He has been following this sport since India hosted the Grand Prix in 2012 and has been an ardent supporter of the eventual race winner, Sebastian Vettel. He is also a fan of Max Verstappen and Red Bull and hopes the former breaks the Lewis Hamilton dominance.

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