Decision looming on Russell’s F1 future

George Russell

George Russell is confident that he will know what his Formula 1 future holds before the Belgian Grand Prix at the end of the month.

The Englishman, who currently drives for Williams, has been heavily linked with a move to Mercedes in place of Valtteri Bottas.

Russell starred in a cameo appearance for the all-conquering operation at the Sakhir Grand Prix last year and completed tyre testing for the squad at the Hungaroring last week.

The 23-year-old is viewed by many as Lewis Hamilton’s successor at Brackley, with the only real question surrounding how to integrate him into the operation.

“I guess there’ll be a decision made over the summer break whether anything will be announced,” said Russell, who is a member of Mercedes’ junior driver academy.

“These things are never an easy process for any driver and any team.

“Regardless if they’re moving team or staying with the same team, there is always a lengthy process.

“So yeah, I’m confident there’ll be a decision made in the summer but when that will be announced, who knows.”

Hamilton last month signed a new two-year contract which will keep him in F1 until at least 2023.

The seven-time champion has been a vocal supporter of Bottas remaining with the team, the pair having combined for four constructors’ titles on the bounce.

The Finn has also offered a far blunter threat than his predecessor, Nico Rosberg, whose tenure with the team resulted in a number of clashes with Hamilton.

That more stable environment is cited as one of the key benefits of having Bottas in the second car.

Conversely, it’s argued that slotting Russell into that drive would give the youngster an opportunity to learn from the most successful driver in the sport’s history.

A two-year stint under the wing of Hamilton would offer a wealth of experience down the track which wouldn’t be available if he were to stay at Williams.

On summer break, Formula 1 returns for the Belgian Grand Prix at Spa-Francorchamps on August 27-29.

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