Mercedes hint at all-British line-up with Russell alongside Hamilton

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George Russell could become part of an all-British Mercedes line-up in 2022 following his impressive debut for the team as Lewis Hamilton’s stand-in at the Sakhir Grand Prix. 

A pitstop tyre blunder followed by a puncture denied him a remarkable victory just two days after driving the car for the first time.

Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff said the idea of bringing Russell into the team for next season was not “a realistic situation”, but hinted he could partner Hamilton for the following year. 

“He’s a Williams driver, and is signed up to Williams, and our driver line-up is Valtteri [Bottas] and Lewis,” said Wolff. “So, I don’t see this as a realistic situation at that moment of time [for 2021]. 

“But I can understand that it would be an interesting situation, both in the team and maybe a bit of a wild ride for all of us. Maybe we’ll have that in the future. 

“We need to see what the future holds. I haven’t made my mind now what that means for us. We learned that George Russell is somebody to count on in the future. He has all the potential and all the ingredients that a future star needs.” 

Hamilton, still recovering from Covid and in isolation in Bahrain, is expected to put pen to paper on a new Mercedes deal in the coming days, while Bottas has a contract in place to drive for Mercedes next season. 

But Russell’s stock has risen massively after narrowly missing out on pole position for Sunday’s race before beating Bottas off the line and dominating the race before two doses of misfortune. 

Asked whether the Briton had a chance to be a future world champion, Wolff said: “Lewis is the absolute benchmark and nobody is anywhere near him, but today we’ve seen there is a new generation coming up that can be really strong. The sky is the limit.” 

Russell said of his potential future following his race drive: “Hopefully it puts Toto in a difficult position moving forward.”


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