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Friday, September 17, 2021

Russell and Bottas coy over Mercedes 2022 F1 driver choice

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Russell is vying to exchange Valtteri Bottas at Mercedes subsequent 12 months after starring throughout his time at Williams since debuting in F1 in 2019, having additionally been a part of Mercedes’ younger driver programme in that point.

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff beforehand stated the workforce would decide on who would associate Lewis Hamilton subsequent 12 months throughout the summer time months, however no announcement has but been made forward of F1’s return at Spa this weekend following a three-week break.

Russell and Bottas have been paired within the opening press convention forward of the Belgian Grand Prix on Thursday, and have been requested in the event that they knew but what they have been doing subsequent 12 months.

“There is no such thing as a information to share but,” stated Bottas, who later added: “Possibly I do know one thing, possibly I don’t. However like I stated, there’s no information to share.”

Requested instantly if there was no information to share as a result of a choice had not but been made, or if it was not the suitable time to disclose something, Bottas replied: “There is no such thing as a information to share. I don’t must make clear any causes for that.

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“I believe the identical for me and George, that now we have a job to do right here, and there’s no information, and we’re going to concentrate on racing and getting most factors for the workforce we’re racing with.”

Russell doubted that any announcement about his future can be made earlier than subsequent weekend’s Dutch Grand Prix at Zandvoort.

“[There’s] no information to share at this stage,” Russell stated. “[We were] nonetheless clearly in discussions over the summer time break, however there’s nothing to announce a technique or one other this weekend, and doubtless not subsequent weekend both to be trustworthy.

“I believe it’s no drawback. Do issues proper relatively than shortly, let’s say.”

George Russell, Williams FW43B

Photograph by: Glenn Dunbar / Motorsport Images

Mercedes’ choice is ready to behave as the primary main domino in F1’s driver marketplace for subsequent season, making it a major choice for the paddock as an entire.

Russell stated there was “no actual drawback” that nothing had been introduced but when requested by Autosport if a delay in a choice can be in any respect problematic.

“We’re each lucky that we’re each type of taken care of in methods by Mercedes, and we each belief them to take care of our futures, a technique or one other,” Russell stated.

“From my facet, talking for myself, there are not any actual issues. Whether or not it’s tomorrow, whether or not it’s after Abu Dhabi, I assume you need to belief the people who find themselves looking for you.”

Bottas agreed that it was “not problematic” that nothing had been introduced but because it was “nothing new” for him, having waited as late as Spa to have his future with Mercedes resolved in earlier years.

“The state of affairs total, I’m positive with it utterly,” Bottas stated.

“Simply actually head down and focus for the weekend, and I’m fairly positive for the subsequent weeks, they may positively fly by with the triple header, and now we have a reasonably good battle on our arms as a workforce, in order that’s the principle focus.

“Issues ultimately will type themselves out, and we’ll see.”

Ought to Bottas go away Mercedes after 5 seasons, the Finn is known to be excessive on Alfa Romeo’s shortlist for 2022.

Wolff had hinted earlier than the summer time break that the workforce could not essentially go public with its driver choice instantly after it had been made.

Talking completely to Autosport, he stated: “It’s about us sticking our heads collectively right here and with Mercedes, to attract out the way forward for our driver lineup.

“We’ll take a choice over the summer time after which we are going to determine when to speak it.”

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