Russell rules out British GP announcement for Mercedes 2022 F1 drive

George Russell has ruled out the possibility of him being announced as a Mercedes driver for the 2022 Formula 1 season at this weekend’s British Grand Prix.
George Russell (GBR) Williams Racing.
George Russell (GBR) Williams Racing.

The current Williams driver has been heavily linked with graduation to the Mercedes works team as a new teammate for Lewis Hamilton, who recently agreed a two-year extension to keep him in F1 until the end of 2023.

Mercedes is weighing up whether to retain Valtteri Bottas for another season or replace him with Russell, who has turned in a number of starring displays for Williams since making his F1 debut in 2019.

With Hamilton’s future now resolved, there have been suggestions that Mercedes was poised to announce Russell as its new driver to form an all-British line-up for 2022 ahead of his home event at Silverstone this weekend.

But Russell categorically denied the rumours during an interview with the F1 Nation Podcast that was released on Tuesday.

“I signed with Mercedes five or six years ago now, that is 100% true, as everybody knows they look after me,” he said.

“With regards to my drive for next year nothing has been signed or sealed and nothing will be announced in Silverstone, so I can let you know that.”

The 21-year-old, who is preparing to contest his third British GP, stressed he tries to approach his home race in the same manner he would for any other event on the calendar.

George Russell (GBR) Williams Racing FW43B.
George Russell (GBR) Williams Racing FW43B.

“From my side, I never like to approach a weekend differently,” Russell explained.

“Whether in the past it was fighting for a championship, or whether it was a home race or a new event, you’ve got to set routine. I think keeping that routine is really important and just because it is my home race… you always give that bit extra.

“I always think, when people say ‘I’m going to try a bit more’, well why weren’t you trying a little bit more the previous week, the other 22 races?There’s nothing more I think a driver can give purely because it’s a home race, because you’re giving your absolute maximum.

“But I think that additional excitement of your home race does naturally give you a bit more enthusiasm. So maybe that’s where the extra performance comes from.

“The difficult bit, I guess, is there’s a lot of media scrutiny and a lot of activities going on during that week. And just balancing that out, really, because it is the biggest from a marketing perspective, the biggest event of the year for us.

“But ultimately, we can’t let that have an effect on the racing. So it’s just finding that right balance.”

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