Formula 1
Formula 1
R
Emilia Romagna GP
18 Apr
Race in
44 days
R
Portuguese GP
02 May
Race in
58 days
09 May
Next event in
61 days
23 May
Race in
79 days
R
Azerbaijan GP
06 Jun
Race in
93 days
13 Jun
Race in
100 days
27 Jun
Race in
114 days
04 Jul
Next event in
117 days
18 Jul
Race in
135 days
R
Hungarian GP
01 Aug
Race in
149 days
29 Aug
Race in
177 days
05 Sep
Race in
184 days
12 Sep
Race in
191 days
26 Sep
Race in
205 days
R
Singapore GP
03 Oct
Next event in
208 days
10 Oct
Race in
218 days
R
United States GP
24 Oct
Race in
233 days
31 Oct
Race in
240 days
R
Australian GP
21 Nov
Race in
260 days
R
Saudi Arabia GP
05 Dec
Race in
275 days
R
Abu Dhabi GP
12 Dec
Race in
282 days

Mercedes: Bottas and Russell free to race in Sakhir GP

Mercedes Formula 1 chief Toto Wolff has no concerns about a rivalry emerging between Valtteri Bottas and George Russell in Bahrain, saying they are free to race as normal.

Mercedes: Bottas and Russell free to race in Sakhir GP

In his first Mercedes appearance deputising for Lewis Hamilton following his positive test for COVID-19, Russell managed to qualify second for the Sakhir Grand Prix on Saturday, narrowly missing out on pole to teammate Bottas.

The 22-year-old said he felt “gutted” to have lost pole by just 0.026 seconds, but exceeded Mercedes’ expectations after the team told him ahead of qualifying it would be happy with a top-five grid slot.

Russell has been widely tipped for a future drive with Mercedes, although the team has denied it is treating this weekend as a shootout between him and Bottas to be Hamilton’s teammate in 2022.

The regular Williams driver will be targeting his maiden F1 points in Sunday’s race, but could go even further and scoop a first victory if he can defeat Bottas.

But Mercedes chief Wolff was unconcerned about any rivalry brewing between Bottas and Russell in Bahrain, feeling both drivers could be confident of their position.

“It will be certainly tight, but I don’t see any rivalry within our team,” Wolff said. “Valtteri is well-settled. There is nothing to prove for him.

“For George, it’s a little bit easier because there is no pressure at all. He has nothing to lose.

“And obviously [Max] Verstappen is not going to be happy that there is a new kid on the block that’s standing in front of him.

“George is on the worse line, as we’ve seen last weekend, and the cockpit is too small for him. The clutch pedals are too small too for his hands and his fingers.

“So really, I have the same expectation tomorrow that I had for him for qualifying today. He has confirmed what we thought of him.

“As I said before, impressed, but not surprised.”

Asked if Mercedes would employ any team orders to favour Bottas, Wolff said it would not waver from its usual approach by letting them race.

"No, [they’re] free to race,” Wolff said. "That’s what we owe to everybody. Off the leash.”

Read Also:

shares
comments

Related video

Williams praises Aitken for 'seamlessly' replacing Russell

Previous article

Williams praises Aitken for 'seamlessly' replacing Russell

Next article

Norris to start Sakhir GP from back with engine penalty

Norris to start Sakhir GP from back with engine penalty
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Event Sakhir GP
Drivers Valtteri Bottas , George Russell
Teams Mercedes
Author Luke Smith
How Ferrari plans to recover from its 2020 F1 nightmare Prime

How Ferrari plans to recover from its 2020 F1 nightmare

The 2020 Formula 1 season was Ferrari's worst for 40 years as it slumped to sixth in the standings. A repeat performance will not be acceptable for the proud Italian team, which has adopted a notably pragmatic approach to forging its path back to the top

Why Aston Martin’s arrival is more than just new green livery Prime

Why Aston Martin’s arrival is more than just new green livery

In the most eagerly anticipated Formula 1 team launch of the season, the rebranded Aston Martin squad’s changes go much further than the striking paint job. But rather than a restart, the team hopes to build on top of solid foundations.

Formula 1
Mar 3, 2021
The car Aston Martin begins its new F1 journey with Prime

The car Aston Martin begins its new F1 journey with

The team formerly known as Racing Point gambled successfully on a Mercedes look-alike in 2020 as it mounted a strong challenge for third in the constructors' race and won the Sakhir GP. Now clothed in British racing green, Aston Martin's first Formula 1 challenger since 1960 provides the clearest indicator yet of what to expect from the new-for-2021 regulations

Formula 1
Mar 3, 2021
The tricky driver conundrums facing Mercedes in F1 2021 Prime

The tricky driver conundrums facing Mercedes in F1 2021

Ahead of the new Formula 1 season, reigning world champions Mercedes will take on challenges both old and new. This also can be said for its driver conundrum which could become key to sustaining its ongoing success...

Formula 1
Mar 2, 2021
How Alpine's cure to 2021 F1 rules starts at the front Prime

How Alpine's cure to 2021 F1 rules starts at the front

A new name, new faces and new colours pulls the rebranded Alpine Formula 1 team into a new era while carrying over core elements of its 2020 car. But under the surface there's more than meets the eye with the A521 which hints at how the team will tackle 2021...

Formula 1
Mar 2, 2021
Can Mercedes' W12 retain the team's crown? Prime

Can Mercedes' W12 retain the team's crown?

Replacing Formula 1's fastest car was never going to be an easy feat for Mercedes. Amid the technical rule tweaks to peg back the W12 and its 2021 rivals, the new Mercedes challenger will remain the target to beat

Formula 1
Mar 2, 2021
The pointed note that starts Ferrari's Leclerc vs Sainz era Prime

The pointed note that starts Ferrari's Leclerc vs Sainz era

Ferrari is starting its post-Sebastian Vettel age by welcoming Carlos Sainz in alongside Charles Leclerc. But while Sainz has a tough challenge to match his new teammate, Ferrari is also sending a message that previous intra-team spats must end

Formula 1
Mar 2, 2021
The mantra Ocon must follow to challenge Alonso at Alpine Prime

The mantra Ocon must follow to challenge Alonso at Alpine

OPINION: It's been an uneasy ride for Esteban Ocon since his F1 comeback - and fresh challenges lie in wait as he's joined by double world champion Fernando Alonso in the newly rebranded Alpine team. STUART CODLING sets out a roadmap to success…

Formula 1
Mar 1, 2021