Russell wants F1 future beyond 2021 decided by summer break

George Russell says he, Mercedes and Williams all want his Formula 1 future beyond 2021 decided before this year’s summer break.

The Williams racer has been heavily linked with a move to the Black Arrows squad, where he has been part of its junior programme since 2017, for 2022, following his starring performances for Williams and his near-win in the 2020 Sakhir Grand Prix.

If Russell were to join Mercedes, he would likely do so either as teammate to Lewis Hamilton, with Valtteri Bottas leaving the squad, or in place of Hamilton if the world champion decides to retire or exit the team at the end of his one-year deal for 2021.

Hamilton has also said “it would be great to get something in place before the break” about continuing with Mercedes beyond this year.

Speaking to Motorsport.com in an exclusive interview included in full for this week’s Autosport magazine, Russell said: “I think, naturally, we all want something decided either way by the summer break, really. I think it's in everybody's best interests.

“But to be honest, I'm really not pushing the subject with anybody really - with Mercedes, with Williams. Because I am purely just focused on my job here. And I know that, as I've always said, if I perform to my potential [that I] believe I'm capable of, you're putting yourself in the shop window.

“And I think that race in Bahrain gave me a unique opportunity to almost prove it. Whereas, prior to that, it was always a small unknown - because of the situation I found myself in [with Williams].

“So, I'm really not pushing the subject. Just enjoying every single race, enjoying where I find myself. But I think it's really exciting that Lewis has openly been talking about the next couple of years. And it's clear that he's still performing at an incredibly high level.

“I think it will be amazing for the sport, and for Mercedes, if he were to continue. And obviously, as any young driver, you want to go against the best. And Lewis is the best.”

Read Also:

When asked if a decision “either way” meant there was a simple choice to be made between Russell joining Mercedes for 2022 or remaining with Williams for a fourth successive season, he replied: “I mean, obviously, there's a lot of talk about a promotion to, or 'a move', I should say, to Mercedes.

“But I think for all of us at the end of the day – Mercedes do manage me, and they do want the best for my career. They are in a unique position, in that sense. But they just want the best for me. And if they believe I deserve the opportunity, then it'll be there.

“If they don't believe I deserve it, then they will find me a seat somewhere where I can continue to develop. But I feel like I'm ready to fight for world championships and fight for victories. I feel ready right now to be able to do that, let alone with another year under my belt by the end of this season.

“So, wherever I find myself next year, I want to be in a car that will give me the chance to win races. Because I didn't fight my whole career to get to F1 to be fighting for 15th and 16th.

“I fought my whole career to get here and to win. And that's what I'm so focused more than ever on doing.”

The full interview with Russell will be featured in the 3 June issue of Autosport magazine, which will be available in shops and to subscribe online here: www.autosportmedia.com.  

shares
comments

Related video

The unsung star of F1 2021 so far

Previous article

The unsung star of F1 2021 so far

Next article

Remembering the legendary Bruce McLaren, over 50 years on

Remembering the legendary Bruce McLaren, over 50 years on
Load comments
Why dumping the MGU-H is the right move for F1 Prime

Why dumping the MGU-H is the right move for F1

OPINION: With its days apparently numbered, the MGU-H looks set to be dropped from Formula 1’s future engine rules in order to entice new manufacturers in. While it may appear a change of direction, the benefits for teams and fans could make the decision a worthwhile call

Formula 1
Sep 23, 2021
The floundering fortunes of F1’s many Lotus reboots Prime

The floundering fortunes of F1’s many Lotus reboots

Team Lotus ceased to exist in 1994 - and yet various parties have been trying to resurrect the hallowed name, in increasingly unrecognisable forms, ever since. Damien Smith brings GP Racing’s history of the legendary team to an end with a look at those who sought to keep the flame alive in Formula 1.

Formula 1
Sep 22, 2021
Why the 2021 title fight is far from F1's worst, despite its toxic background Prime

Why the 2021 title fight is far from F1's worst, despite its toxic background

OPINION: Formula 1 reconvenes for the Russian Grand Prix two weeks after the latest blow in ‘Max Verstappen vs Lewis Hamilton’. While the Silverstone and Monza incidents were controversial, they thankfully lacked one element that so far separates the 2021 title fight from the worst examples of ugly championship battles

Formula 1
Sep 22, 2021
How Mika Hakkinen thrived at Lotus Prime

How Mika Hakkinen thrived at Lotus

Mika Hakkinen became Michael Schumacher’s biggest rival in Formula 1 in the late-90s and early 2000s, having also made his F1 debut in 1991. But as MARK GALLAGHER recalls, while Schumacher wowed the world with a car that was eminently capable, Hakkinen was fighting to make his mark with a famous team in terminal decline

Formula 1
Sep 21, 2021
The forgotten F1 comeback that began Jordan’s odyssey  Prime

The forgotten F1 comeback that began Jordan’s odyssey 

Before Michael Schumacher – or anyone else – had driven the 191 (or 911 as it was initially called), Eddie Jordan turned to a fellow Irishman to test his new Formula 1 car. JOHN WATSON, a grand prix winner for Penske and McLaren, recalls his role in the birth of a legend…

Formula 1
Sep 20, 2021
The squandered potential of a 70s F1 underdog Prime

The squandered potential of a 70s F1 underdog

A podium finisher in its first outing but then never again, the BRM P201 was a classic case of an opportunity squandered by disorganisation and complacency, says Stuart Codling.

Formula 1
Sep 18, 2021
The other notable Monza escape that F1 should learn from Prime

The other notable Monza escape that F1 should learn from

OPINION: The headlines were dominated by the Italian Grand Prix clash between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton, who had the halo to thank for avoiding potentially serious injury. But two days earlier, Formula 1 had a lucky escape with a Monza pitlane incident that could also have had grave consequences.

Formula 1
Sep 17, 2021
How Monza only added more questions to F1's sprint race conundrum Prime

How Monza only added more questions to F1's sprint race conundrum

With two sprint races under its belt, Formula 1 must now consider its options for them going forward. While they've helped deliver exciting racing on Sundays, the sprints themselves have been somewhat lacking - creating yet another conundrum for F1 to solve...

Formula 1
Sep 16, 2021