George Russell is petitioning to land a promotion to the Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 team after seeing his contemporaries Charles Leclerc and Alex Albon land front-running seats at Ferrari and Red Bull over the past year.

The Briton, a Mercedes development driver, made his F1 debut with Williams in 2019 but despite being hamstrung by uncompetitive machinery impressed onlookers with its consistency and relative speed compared with experienced team-mate Robert Kubica.

However, having risen through the ranks in tandem with Leclerc and Albon, while they have since been promoted to top seats with Ferrari and Red Bull respectively, Russell’s immediate future as a potential Mercedes driver is less clear cut.

While he accepts the successful combination of Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas in the team means he is under no illusions it will be difficult to land one of the Mercedes seats, he points to the commitments made by Ferrari and Red Bull to promote youthful talent as an example of why he deserves a spot in the title-winning outfit.

“Mercedes don't have the junior programme for no reason," Russell told Sky Sports F1. "Likewise Red Bull and Ferrari. The whole goal is to try and develop a driver and bring them through into the main team.

"Obviously it's a lot about timing as well, there's only two seats per team and at Mercedes, you've obviously got Lewis doing the business and he and Valtteri have been a great pairing for the last couple of years, winning the championship.

"So there must be part of them thinking why do we need to change.

"But on the other hand you start to look at the likes of Ferrari with Carlos and Charles - arguably they could be there for the next four, five, six years as a pairing. likewise with Danny (Ricciardo) and Lando (Norris) at McLaren, and then arguably Max and Alex at Red Bull.

"I think for any company having that stability is hugely important. It's great to see that these teams are looking for the future, and we'll see what's next."

As it stands, both Hamilton and Bottas’ contracts come to an end at the conclusion of the 2020 season, though this was originally set to coincide with a shake-up of the regulations.

With these delayed to 2022 as a result of the coronavirus, there is talk Bottas may pen a one-year deal to allow Mercedes to evaluate the prospect of promoting a driver like Russell into the team for 2022.

However, matters could be complicated further if Mercedes makes a bid to secure the services of Sebastian Vettel, who leaves Ferrari at the end of the season.

 

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