When the 2021 season comes to an end altogether with the year, various F1 drivers will be out of contract for the beginning of 2022. 4 of which are somehow drivers linked with Mercedes, as Lewis Hamilton’ and Valtteri Bottas’ contracts as current Mercedes drivers expire this year; plus, George Russell, Williams’ golden boy tied with Mercedes management, and Esteban Ocon, driving at his very best and under Toto Wolff’s wing, are all in the run for a Mercedes seat.
But the young Briton’s desires are for this matter to be solved before the end of the year.
“I think, naturally, we all want something decided either way by the summer break, really. I think it's in everybody's best interests," he said.
Russell is the driver making more noise around Valtteri Bottas' seat and after Wolff’s declarations about the Finnish driver's early retirement from Monaco, it’s clear that the relationship is getting tense, but even from the seven-time-world champion’ side, the situation is nothing of a clearer scenario, as Lewis Hamilton stated in the past month that he wanted his future resolved before going into the break too.
“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, I believe I'm capable of putting myself 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," The Williams driver said about Hamilton’s May declarations.
George Russell spoke in an exclusive interview for Motorsport.com magazine. One of the main topics was the silly season subject and the British' driver seat. Even though the Mercedes-Bottas relationship seems to be falling off, it’s not something that keeps the 23-year-old awake at night.
“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. I mean, obviously, there's a lot of talk about a promotion to, or 'a move', I should say, to Mercedes.”
The 23-years-old is still yet to score his first championship points driving for Williams. But he certainly believes he has the talent and already enough experience to be in a top-of-the-table car. He certainly has the determination.
“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.”